Photographer, writer, and artist Jack St Jack grew up in Appalachia. Struck with wanderlust and moved by a compulsion to experience everything possible, Jack fled the region at 17 and began a life of travel. He spent most of his early adulthood collecting stories, recollections, and experiences, seeking the infamous heart of America, the dream within a dream.
In 2010, Jack settled in the City of Hearts, San Francisco. Disillusioned by the disparities of wealth on display, Jack lost his faith in humanity and despaired, falling back into a poverty no different than Appalachia. In an attempt to recapture a lost faith in humanity, Jack then began the photographic process that would later come to define his artistic expression.
"The best portraits are often an intersection between psychology and art; a portrait is not the gestalt, it is a spotlight on a facet seldom seen." - Jack
Homeless in San Francisco for over 8 years, living on a rooftop and struggling with a day business, Jack got into subsidized housing in 2018. Far from the dream of acquiring a higher education or a way out of poverty, Jack continually struggles with destitution. When the novel coronavirus emerged, Jack withdrew from all photography for over a year and wrote a terribly amateur fiction novel in the interim.
Today, post-pandemic, Jack continues to document the world he knows, wary but still willing to confront the shadowy, gritty underside to the City by the Bay. With a true eye for detail and a knack for finding those fleeting moments that speak a universal language, Jack shows us what it is that makes us human, truly human, what it is to just be. Jack's work reveals the quiet dignity that we all strive for, regardless of sex, race, or socioeconomic status.
SF Grit - Selections of the Everyday Peoples of San Francisco
Paolo Mejia Gallery, San Francisco, June-July 2015
email@example.com / Phone: 415-846-3933
Tenderloin District, San Francisco, CA 94102