new-york

Jack Pierson

American Fine Arts

Jack Pierson has collected an impressive assortment of brightly colored commercial letters. The plainer ones might have announced the brunch special and congratulated the team above a pancake house, or broadcast messages from a portable ball-hitch sign parked along the roadside in lesser suburbia. The more stylized might have spelled the name of a small-town grocery, or written the logo of a petroleum company towering above the interstate. Some of Pierson’s letters are wood, others plastic; still others are neon, the seedily spectacular medium of nightclubs and bars, casinos and porn theaters.

Pierson has mixed and matched these tokens of our cultural history to write an all-American tale, one whose lines are at once brash and sentimental, in-your-face and down-and-out. Jesus, 1998, has a turquoise neon U that plugs in below; other walls spell out Poor boy and Working class values, both

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