Jack St Jack is an artist who was born into deep poverty in the Appalachians. Struck with wanderlust and moved by a compulsion to experience everything possible, Jack fled his upbringing 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 he loved most of all: the City of Hearts, San Francisco. Disillusioned by the disparities of wealth in a capitalist society driven purely by greed, Jack began to lose his faith in humanity and despaired, falling back into the poverty that defined his youth. With stability seemingly off the table, and in an attempt to recapture his lost faith in humanity and pull himself back from the brink of suicide, Jack began the photographic process that would come to later define his entire world.
Homeless in San Francisco for over 8 years, living on a rooftop and struggling with a day business, Jack finally got into subsidized housing in 2018. Still far from the dream of acquiring a higher education or a way out of deep poverty, Jack has continued to struggle with a life lived in senseless destitution. Despite the various traumas and stigmas associated with American poverty, Jack still believes all people have value and deserve dignity, and that housing, education, and medical care should be fully subsidized rights afforded to all, without borders or stipulations.
After a hiatus due to the novel coronavirus, today Jack continues to document the world he knows, afraid 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.
"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
Paolo Mejia Gallery, San Francisco, June-July 2015
/ Phone: 415-846-3933
Tenderloin District, San Francisco, CA 94102