OMG is the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art’s new commissioned artwork by American artist Jack Pierson.
Hovering above the Main Street entrance, OMG is a colorful and engaging addition to the museum’s historic, Gothic-revival
façade and is the first in a changing series of contemporary art projects planned for the museum’s exterior.
Evocative, contemporary, and with a touch of humor, OMG is an instantly recognizable engagement with an online-centric culture. Its translation—”Oh My God,” “Oh My Goodness,”
or “Oh My Gosh”—is generally understood by the masses. As an expression, “OMG” has come to be understood as a word on its own, with no need for translation. With this contemporary statement mounted on the historic museum facade, the Wadsworth Atheneum enthusiastically embraces its proclamation, “New Since 1842.”
Jack Pierson’s mash-up of found letters from old signs, sometimes installed with lit elements, is a signature language and style that the artist has utilized since the early 1990s. A single word, phrase, or sentence can comprise a Pierson wall sculpture or artwork. OMG is Pierson’s first public commission and the only outdoor work by the artist in the Northeast.
Unlit during the day, OMG‘s metal letters are white, black, and red, referencing other public artworks in the immediate vicinity, like Carl Andre’s Stone Field Sculpture, Tony Smith’s Amaryllis, and Alexander Calder’s Stegosaurus stabile on Burr Mall. A combination of neon and subtly blinking bulbs illuminate the artwork after dark.
ABOVE: Jack Pierson (American, born 1960), OMG, 2014, metal, neon, light bulbs, and transformer, 77 x 165 inches, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, The Douglas Tracy Smith and Dorothy Potter Smith Fund, 2015.3.1