Teasing out the tragedy and sleaze beneath the glamour of the American dream, Jack Pierson recuperates and interweaves both visual and linguistic motifs through sculptural and photographic collages to document the disillusionment and loss of cultural symbolism he perceives. Associated with the Boston School of artists along with Nan Goldin and Philip-Lorca diCorcia, known for their spontaneous and diaristic images, Pierson inserts a sly humour to his work suspended between comic wit and melancholy which gravitates out from his experience as an artist in the era of AIDS and LGBT activism. The title of this photograph, “Hot Dogs at Sunset” hints at a homoerotic undertone which subtly subverts the conventional and conservative “all-American” beach barbecue scene, further strengthened by the connective visual language of the three men’s tight floral swimwear and the figure on the left’s sexually suggestive pose. Celebrated across the world, Pierson’s work has figured in numerous exhibitions including a solo show at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1994 and is part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles’ collections, to name but two.

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About Jack Pierson

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Jack Pierson (American, b. 1960) is a photographer, sculptor, painter and draftsman who received his BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art, Boston in 1984. Pierson is best known for his photography, Abstract sculptures and collages but has worked with a wide range of mediums. He is openly gay, and many of his photographs are images of men shot in a casual, erotic fashion. Pierson is considered to be part of the Boston School, which is a term used to refer to a group of photographers who worked in Boston in the early 1980s. Mark Morrisroe (American, 1959–1989), David Armstrong (American, b.1954), Nan Goldin (American, b.1953), and Philip-Lorca diCorcia (American, b.1951) were all part of the Boston School and created a style of photography that centered on them photographing their mutual friends in intimate or casual settings. 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.”

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Hot Dogs at Sunset, 2003
Lot Number 16
Chromogenic print
14 x 11 in (35.56 x 27.94 cm)
Edition of 50
Signed and numbered on verso

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Jack Pierson
Hot Dogs at Sunset
  • Dimensions
    14 x 11 in (35.56 x 27.94 cm)