Jack Pierson Takes on the American Dream

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Painter/sculptor/photographer/draughtsman Jack Pierson is renowned for his poignant ruminations on the intricacies of desire, desperation, and memory. The Joshua Tree-based artist’s latest collection, of his famed calligraphic word sculptures, is currently on view at Hollywood’s Regen Projects. It marks his ninth solo exhibition at the gallery.

Here, Pierson assembles large-scale letters of varying fonts and colors to create several phrases of alienation and sadness, including “Dust and dreams,” “People are weird,” and “Broke, miserable, and alone.” With this ransom-note-like quality emanating from the disjointed letters, we get a sense of a disconnected personality. In this work lies a palpable sense of longing and nostalgia for the fabled American West, albeit marred with disenchantment.

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Jack Pierson, installation view, 2017. Courtesy of Regan Projects.

With their eye-catching colors, retro-styling, and hint of decay, these letters give hints of their commercial past, as Pierson collected them from vintage commercial signage over the years. (The show has a decidedly Route 66 feel.) These short and haunting statements are decontextualized and reappropriated from their billboard histories in the gallery setting, echoing the ideas of Pop Art. As corporations typically aim to induce vague feelings of happiness and freedom in association with their product, Pierson does just the opposite, opening our eyes to these deceptive practices–the flaws and failings of the American Dream.

Jack Pierson
Through December 22, 2017
Regen Projects
6750 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90038

Emily Nimptsch

Emily Nimptsch

Emily Nimptsch is a freelance arts and culture writer living in Los Angeles. She has written for Flaunt, ArtSlant, Artillery, and produced blog content for Venice Beach’s L.A. Louver Gallery.

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