Jack Pierson

Jack Pierson

Jack Pierson will take photographs from the train during the Station to Station journey from Barstow to Oakland.  

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 ActLost in the StarsThe World is YoursSome Other SpringRomance; 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.