On this island

Illustration by Jack Pierson

Jack Pierson intended to make something simple, “little paintings” he’s called them, to pull something out of himself, something disconnected from his own intentions and indifferent to reception. He left the hustle and bustle of New York City and travelled to North Captiva, a remote island in the Gulf of Mexico off the southwest coast of Florida which promises resources beyond your imagination. Much of the island is a preserve, a natural habitat of migratory birds, dolphins, logger-head sea turtles, eastern coral snakes, and, reportedly, two bobcats. Spending the winter months in deep solitude, he worked everyday on the beach, reading Ralph Waldo Emerson, using automatic drawing techniques, allowing his subconscious mind to take control, surrendering to nature and beauty, entering it, randomly following patterns, organic shapes and forms, and submitting to his unconscious movements. It was peaceful and quiet and he made works of art with his hands first, an “expression of nature, in miniature”. All works courtesy Cheim & Read.