Jesse and Jason Pearson

(b. 1980 in Rochester, MN; reside MN and CA)

Jesse and Jason Pearson are identical twin brothers and collaborative artists who work under the moniker Dick and Wayne. They use photography and drawing to navigate shared experiences and to create narratives existing between fact and fiction based on their memories, family history, and desires and fantasies from adolescence to adulthood. Many of their images in the Midwest Photographers Project are from their monograph Iron Sights in the Round (2011), which they describe as the construction of “a shared autobiography and exploration of the self, as framed and seen through the window of family/personal history.” The title is formed by two phrases: “iron sights” are the alignment markers used to assist in the aiming of a firearm, and “in the round” refers to a theatre space in which the audience surrounds the stage. The Pearsons grew up hunting with their father, and they learned about animal sexuality, human survival, and the dynamic of predator and prey at a young age. Jesse and Jason compare their artistic process to hunting, in that they allow themselves to shoot whatever image they desire of their subjects, using the camera’s viewfinder as iron sights. To this dynamic they add art historical references, such asMother(2002), which references a portrait by the Parisian photographer Louis Pierson of the Countess Castiglione (1860). In having their subjects theatrically pose for the camera, Jesse and Jason are able to construct narratives and a metaphorical theatre-in-the-round. The resulting images create the depiction (and in some cases exploitation) of an element of male culture that is both beautiful and grotesque.

Born in rural Minnesota, Jesse and Jason Pearson completed BFA degrees in photography at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, MN (2002). Jesse completed an MFA in photography at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque (2006), and Jason completed an MFA in photography at Syracuse University, NY (2007). Jason participated in the Anderson Ranch Artists’ Residency Program, Snowmass Village, CO, in 2007-2008.