David Jien’s Prime Earth


Jericho, 2017, Color pencil and graphite on paper, 11 × 35″

Who shall deliver us from this affliction?

In 1995, a group of D-List TV actors called “Sliders” used a vortex-like wormhole to “slide” between parallel universes. The episode titled “Exodus” followed the Sliders as they nearly escaped a world about to be destroyed by a pulsar. Timed by a portable alarm clock, the Sliders were expected to return to Prime Earth before the counter was up. Failure to do so resulted in a Slider being stranded for 29.7 years. 29.7 years is exactly how long I’ve been here in this realm, my time must be up soon. This is a world of violence, corruption, religion, sex, fallout from ideological war between cold-blooded Reptilian overlords and balloon-headed creatures.

THE GOOD ERF, 2014, color pencil and graphite on paper, 14×18.25in

MOBB DEEP/ DROP A GEM ON EM’, 2014, color pencil, graphite, and holographic film on paper, 11x17in

Like an anxious Slider, we arrive to David Jien’s world in hopes that it is Prime Earth. Recon: everyone is happy, busy. There are lush leaves on the trees, normal clouds and normal sunshine. There’s a sense of purpose, adventure even. ABCs are in order; things are normal. Until we realize—they aren’t. Jien’s alternate reality is a climatic paradise, free from storms and disease, yet his people are divided (and anthropomorphic). Battles and orgies run rampant. Humpty Dumpty is tempted by Reptilian promises of pleasure and power. Jien has been called a wizard, and I think that’s apt. Jien’s own Exodus, 3-feet long and two years in the making, follows humans and animals exiting the world they inhabit. Are they too looking for Prime Earth? 

EXODUS, 2013-2014, color pencil, graphite, gouache and mother of pearl veneer on paper, 25.5x91in