One of my favorite art objects in Portland is Jack Pierson's "Teenstar", which is nestled away in depths of the Portland
. (on loan from a private collection)
There is something ornery about a good object which confounds and exceeds its original context, like a great idea with baggage. Or is "Teenstar" a contemporary totem of things that never seem to change?
"Teenstar" can be found downstairs outside the PGE auditorium and across from the large Frank Stella protractor work. I usually dislike word art and much of Jack Pierson's production seems too contrived... yet "Teenstar" stands out because of its pervasive, practically insidious subject matter.
Constructed of found signage, the materials coerced into a word work together to emphasize both the ubiquity of youth and the corruption of the aging process. Teen stars never seem to go out of style and the phenomena probably started with Mary
. Then came Annette
, Sally Field
(the pregnant flying nun, wow)
, Danny Bonaduce, the Backstreet Boys and
Lindsay Lohan. For many good reasons (like being too inexperienced to be jaded) the power of precocious youths won't go away and neither will this Jack Pierson.
"Teenstar" is a combination of roadside Americana and celebrity teenage road kill that has found its way to a museum, for now. This is Pierson at his best.
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