Kayleen Dejesus , also known as “Kayleendaa” is an Oakland based illustrator originally from The Bronx, New York. Kayleendaa came to California in 2012 to study textiles and graphic design with a focus on screen printing. After earning her BFA in textiles from the California College of the Arts, she decided to take a different approach. Having always had a passion for drawing since her childhood, she switched her focus onto the fine line-work paintings she is now known for.
Whether on fabric, wood panels or paper, her detailed line work is emotionally wrought; composed of intricately illustrated animals in silent distress, toying with the idea of beauty and despair . Her bold and expressive style has an unnerving quality, unafraid to confront the viewer with raw emotions of pain inflicted onto these animals, expressed unforgivingly through their anguished gazes. On the surface, these animals are feral and domestic creatures entangled in a moment of tension. Beneath the surface, it’s identifying vulnerability, struggle, and survival- while also revealing a dose of serenity.
The things that are left unsaid are the most revealing- leaving us to pay attention to the subliminal gestures we make. The way our eyes gaze at someone we adore, the way we hold ourselves in times of discomfort, and the way we cling onto familiarity. We are all creatures of comfort and are so willing to forgive and love. We are so much more entangled with animalistic instinct than we can even fathom. Never losing the will to survive, fighting for our place in this world.