Author(s): Jack Pierson
The Hungry Years collects the early photographs taken by Pierson throughout the 1980s, which, since they were first editioned in 1990, have increasingly captured the attention of the art world. Informed in part by his artistic emergence in the era of AIDS, Pierson's work is moored by melancholy and introspection, yet his images are often buoyed by a celebratory aura of seduction and glamour. Sometimes infused with a sly sense of humor, Pierson's work is inherently autobiographical; often using his friends as his models and referencing traditional Americana motifs, his bright yet distanced imagery reveals the undercurrents of the uncanny in the quotidian. 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."