The Hungry Years – Jack Pierson

 

The reunification of Germany, the war on drugs, the launch of the Hubble telescope, Jurassic Park, Goodfellas, “Ice Ice Baby”.

Ahhhh… 1990. Truly a suitable year to help put behind us the tumultuous decade of the 80’s.

While the world was going through massive political and cultural changes of the 80″s, Jack Pierson was producing a series of highly personal photographs documenting his life and the life of his friends. Jack Pierson: The Hungry Years contains 43 color images from that series.

As stated in the books promotional information, “The Hungry Years collects the early photographs of Jack Pierson, taken throughout the 1980s—photographs that have increasingly captured the attention of the art world since they were first editioned in 1990”

You can see the foundation of Jack Pierson’s unique photographic style – the odd color, the unique framing and the choice of subjects, both personal and universal. A damaged sign reading “Angel Youth”. “Two Queens in L.A. (Alexis Arquette and Mario Gardner)”.  “Chantal at Dawn”.

In “The World”, a room includes a red couch, a discarded disco ball, and an open bottle of beer, all scattered about in a room giving the impression of the aftermath of a hedonistic party. Cropped on the left of the frame is a leg and a foot of a figure that may have his pants pulled down and may be engaged in a sexual act.

In the photograph titled “Nice Blue Pickup”, the sign on the building behind the truck reads LEE MANOR CONDO. It is posted using 3D letters in a couple of different typefaces, perhaps foreshadowing the technique Jack uses in his word sculptures.

As Stephen Shore states in his introduction, “Authenticity is what Jack Pierson’s pictures convey. They have the feel of raw experience: the taste of a place, the face of a friend, adismal aspect, a flash of passion.
At the same time, they relish the medium of photography, its epiphanies, and its flaws. Jack disrespects the merely good for the sake of the expressionistically real.”

Jack Pierson: The Hungry Years presents the work of a gifted artist in the years he was developing his singular style and the photography world began to take notice.

The facts:
Jack Pierson: The Hungry Years
Introduction by Eileen Myles.
Foreword by Stephen Shore.
DAMIANI
Hbk, 8 x 9.5 in. / 104 pgs
More info here.