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‘A storm has passed’

Jesse Pearson photographed “Jason Pearson Wearing His Mom’s Coat And Red Lipstick On Christmas Eve.”

Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

Jesse Pearson is emerging from one of the most difficult years of his life.

Not only has the artist dealt with the pandemic, but also he had to figure out how to move on after his twin brother died in June.

The pair had been together all the time and created art under the moniker Dick and Wayne.

The brothers’ photographs are images reenacting childhood memories, sometimes composed with the reference to the conventions of family photographs. Other photographs are documents of scenarios that the brothers and their collaborators stage, using masks and other graphic props that confuse the two- and three-dimensional spaces of the photographic image, encouraging the viewer to try to image what is taking place in these psychologically charged scenes.

A solo show is currently on view at Foto Forum Santa Fe through May 31.

“I always knew I was a creative person,” Pearson says. “I remember the first time Jason and I got our cameras. We grew up in the middle of nowhere, so we built a lot of forts and photographed them.”

The brothers grew up in rural Minnesota in 1980. Each received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Photography from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 2002. Jesse Pearson received an Master’s of Fine Arts from the University of New Mexico in 2006 and Jason Pearson got his from Syracuse University in New York in 2007.

Jesse Pearson says he and his brother had been collaborating on some sort of art since day one.

“I was flying solo on this show,” he says. “I was grabbing at straws. It wasn’t just his artwork I was going through. I was going through his things. It took me some time to pull together the pieces for this show.”

Jesse Pearson says he would literally shut down for a couple of days while putting together the edit for the show.

“Our work has been dark to people,” he says. “While I was putting it together, it seemed a little darker. Now that the show is done, it’s like a storm has passed and I can see the other side.”

Jesse Pearson doesn’t know what his next move will be as far as art goes.

“I originally thought that this is my retirement show,” he says. “I don’t know how to make work if Jason isn’t making work. Then, I think to myself that it can’t be my retirement show. If anything, I do art because I have to. I owe Jason that much. I have no idea which direction I’ll go next. I am working on a book now, so that’s a first step.”

Their first book “No Kissing” is available at Photo-Eye Bookstore in Santa Fe, with a forthcoming book, “A Survey of the End-Travels with my Twin,” set to be released in 2022.




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