Male beauty. Faded charm. Damaged goods. The bizarre and grotesque. The hollowness — and persistence — of the myths of Hollywood and glamor — ancient, sublimated, confused. Abrupt moments of sublimity — natural or human — call it the sudden sublime. Fetching youth. Exquisite decay.
Such are the elements — some of the elements — in the world of Jack Pierson. Since the early ’90s, he has assembled this world in photo, drawing, collage, painting and sculpture. Sometimes rough-hewn, sometimes smooth, it grows ever more elaborate, and yet has been remarkably consistent.
The most iconic of Pierson’s work is probably his word sculptures, those cryptic slogans and one-word declarations: The Second Act; Lost in the Stars; The World is Yours; Some Other Spring; Romance; Fame. They’re spelled out in letters borrowed from mid-century signage, fonts that once communicated thrills and splendor but now speak of nostalgia, transitoriness and broken dreams. Each letter a different font, like a ransom note from our collective cultural past.