Jack Pierson works in several different mediums, including sculpture, photography and video, and is known for word signage installations, drawings, and artist's books. He explores the emotional undercurrents of everyday life, from the intimacy of romantic attachment to the distant idolization of others. In his well-known appropriation of vintage texts, Pierson references traditional American motifs (roadside ephemera, small town stores) and thus a lost era of cultural symbolism; his resulting word sculptures are imbued with both nostalgia and disillusionment. Informed in part by his artistic emergence in the era of AIDS, Pierson’s work is moored by melancholy and introspection, yet his images are often buoyed by a celebratory aura of seduction and glamour. Using friends as models, he has consistently engaged star culture, whether the stars are from the screen, stage, or art world. Sometimes infused with a sly sense of humor, Pierson’s work is inherently autobiographical; his fixation with fame affirms the tendency to yearn for an ideal, allowing for the viewer’s identification with his imagery. Fueled by the poignancy of emotional experience and by the sensations of memory, obsession and absence, Pierson’s subject is ultimately, as he states, “hope.”
Jack Pierson was born in 1960 in Plymouth, Massachusetts, and graduated from the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston in 1984. He lives and works in New York. Pierson has had recent solo exhibitions at the CAC Malaga, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, His work is in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among other museums worldwide. Pierson is represented by Cheim & Read, New York.