Jackson Pollock was a major force in the abstract expressionism movement, and a dark and moody maverick. He was undeniably an innovative artistic genius and more. His technique has been carefully studied and it’s been determined that some works contain properties of mathematical fractals, and that the works become more fractal-like chronologically. Some goes as far to speculate that he may have been aware of the nature of chaotic motion, and through his paintings was creating what he perceived as perfect representations of mathematical chaos- and all this more than 10 years before Chaos Theory was discovered. So much for the critics that casually dismiss his work as mere paint drippings.
Sadly in 1955, after a long struggle with alcoholism ever deepened by the pressures of fame and his audience’s expectation, Jackson Pollock crashed his car less than a mile from his Springs, NY home and was killed. His influence lives on today in another way, as he is not just a source of inspiration for painters and artists, but also for fashion designers and vintage nuts who for years have carefully studied old photos of Pollock- scrutinizing every detail of his old denim and workwear garb- an inspiration and legacy that even Pollock himself certainly never imagined he’d have.
LINK TO MORE JACKSON POLLOCK PHOTOS
Great piece! The post war abstract artists are some of my favorite American artists. I love when blogs can throw in a bit more art and music into their fashion forward content.
Thank you very much.
After watching Ed Harris’ movie on Pollock recently I found myself obsessing about the artist and the style. Classic workwear, cuffs, loafers- such class and timelessness. Love the image you’ve chosen.
just rereading this post. good stuff. agree w the person above, the movie w Ed ‘the head’ Harris makes you drool for his detached studio, knocking around in old jeans etc…
I saw your piece on his Springs, NY barn. It’s hard not to crave the life.
Thanks for the wonderful scans of these photos.
great great great..thank you very much
Jackson Pollack sucked. So called artsy fartsy intellectuals may call him a genius, but what he did was nothing more than drippings a retarded monkey could’ve done. I bet he was incapable of painting a real portrait, but ever since one rich a-hole in NYC called him a genius everyone followed suit although I’m positive that 99.9% of them secretly knew that he was a no talent boozehound. He was also a mean spirited drunk and his so called “work” is nothing more than random drippings. Nothing to it, folks.
That’s the thing about art it’s beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder as well as lack there of so I feel you are right too. We all have a view .
You’re ignorant…..you’ve no idea what you are talking about. Reminds me very much of my mother, a trait that I’ve always found to be sad and frustrating. Please educate yourself and expand your narrow thinking before spewing uninformed opinions.
You have no idea what his sources are or where any of Pollock or his contemporaries are coming from…what came before them, what else was going on in the world at the time? Politics, other art forms, culture, etc… He blew the doors off of the painting world and you have no idea why. What about calligraphy, dance, and Japanese Haiku? All 3 were sources for his work. Action and rhythm and verse as apposed to literal image. It’s not that difficult to understand if you just have some curiosity. One thing I admire about my father is his sense of curiosity. He is a product of the 50’s. A regular, working-class, uneducated Joe. He likes to learn about things that are unfamiliar and sometimes uncomfortable to him. It hasn’t made him gay or a hippie or “artsy-fartsy” or anything other than himself.
The tone of your comment feels threatened and hostile for some reason. Chill out and learn something. It’s not going to bite you. Thanks for listening.
Wow!!!!!!!!!…the last post was the most closed minded position I have ever heard. I’m pretty sure no one can take him/her seriously……art in its natural definition is what the maker believes it to be. What comes out…just IS…who cares if it’s what you or me likes…..it is just the ART of ANOTHER….plain and simple….nothing more…in the end who cares….so why judge!!??!!……just look and move on….respect what you will…..but to have an opinion on what is and isn’t art is meaningless….grow up before you share!!
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Great Article and awesome pictures, and videos you shared.
I’m a lover of Pollock, hes action painting style always give me an impression of a childhood play. there for a simple yet profund meaning.
Organic has the modern view of art as “whatever the artist wants it to be,” a view that has only come into being with the post-modernism. This view certainly has no premodern precendent, and makes “artists” out of those who are merely controversial. I believe it is a view without merit, especially as it actively denigrates talent.
Pablo P. has stated thing succinctly, if earthily. How many modern “artists” have the finely-polished technique of masters like da Vinci, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, or Rockwell? We moderns have a skewed notion of what art is, due (in part) to the celebration of iconoclasts like Pollock, but mainly due to the disparagement of every aspect of pre-1965 (or so) Western culture and the people who created it (“Dead White Males”).
Did Pollock know about fractals and chaos theory? Did the ancient Egyptians know about pi? In both cases, the answer is no; that fractals/chaos appear in Pollock’s work can be attributed to his method and materials, just as the appearance of pi in ancient Egyptian architecture is due to their use of wheels (i.e., circles) in the building process. In both cases, the appearance of an apparent higher-level knowledge is actually an epiphenomenon.
While fractals may be beautiful, they are not art. They are not a deliberate work of creation but a mathematical function. In a similar vein, Pollock’s method produced, not by design but as a result of dripping and splashing, fractals. Some day, abstract “art,” like much of the “art” and “music” of the 20th century, will be reduced to a footnote, while the great works of the masters will still be celebrated.
Your knowledge of this far surpasses my own.
Thanks for the education.
You’re welcome! Gosh, it’s nice to have my decidely non-mainstream points appreciated for a change.
P.S.: I really enjoy your appreciation of our culture, and I look forward to more great entries here.
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that is the most amazing pice of artwork in the history of the world
JP, Mr Realist
Who decides what is good art and who cares. If you, Mr. Realist, don’t appreciate Pollock, then don’t. There are many reasons why his work became is big as it is and not a lot of them has to do with him, his work or the Beat generation.
I agree with Organic that there is no point in discussing what art is or is not – including fractals. To me they become art the minute you say they aren’t, Mr. Realist.
Talent, is another element that is not easy to apply to the arts. In the sense that Michael Jordan was outstanding at getting the ball through the hoop and to an extend that he must have had something more than hours practicing to make him so much better than any other player (had it been bicycling we would have all known what).
But art isn’t straight and simple and if art was basket ball kicking the ball out of the arena makes as much sense as putting it through the hoop. It says as much about putting it through the hoop as actually putting it through the hoop does. Just in a different way. And if basket ball was art people who doesn’t like basket ball would play it as well trying to make all the basket ball lovers understand that there hardly is a point in putting the ball through the hoop, if basket ball was life.
So when Pablo P. calls out for real portraits – what does that mean? A portrait isn’t real – it is a representation of something real. I would go as far as to say that just as bifurcation patterns is the result of a mathematical equation, in the same way Pollock’s paintings are the result of his process and in the same way a “real” portrait is the result of someone following a set number of rules adding paint to canvas in certain way as to making it resemble a person. Btw. Mr. Realist, I hope you don’t think people in the renaissance looked the way they do in portraits!
So when there isn’t a nut shell this is it. Most of our technological advancement since the dawn of the modern age has been pretty brilliant and we are all happy at diseases gotten rid off etc. But we can also agree that the mentality has been all wrong. The world hasn’t become a better place. 150-200 years later we are looking at the crashed space shuttle called western thought and we need to reassess the situation. Along with that the arts. I would argue that all culture produced in the western world is dependent or connected to our failed ideology and so wether calling it post-modern, modern or what not we need to look at our history to see where we started straying – was it the renaissance? Or was it romanticism? When did we decide that we are bigger and better than our planet.
Unfortunately I believe that it is geologically coded into our brains. I think that our strand of monkeys developed into humanoids and humans looking at the ocean and the horizon and the stars gradually building the notion of curiosity to what was on the other side. Compared to those of the Himalayas walking into the stars and looking at mountains and slowly becoming introspective in their way of seeing this world and life.
But when does our need to explore the world become a barbaric crusade to rule and control every aspect of the planet? Probably when we discover there is a plant and not a pizza and probably because of simple animal herd mentality and the violence of alpha males.
So when yelling at each other in a small strand off a small post on Jackson Pollock I propose to have a purpose with it and maybe even a suggestion as to what to change or how to improve the strand. Beating each other up and claiming righteousness doesn’t leave any one but he who does it looking as the fool we have all been for far to long.
Thanks for a great site with great articles
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I visited his house in Springs twice and went to his grave site near by. His wife Lee Krasner was an artist in her own right, she lived in the Springs house after Pollock died. The shed is still there where he painted, their HiFi is still there with their record collection. There are some of Lee’s paintings hanging.
You can visit the house by calling the Krasner Foundation, if you are intrigued or like Pollock or Krasner it’s worth it.
Pollock is an acquired taste for sure, education or the sudden hit like I experience at LACMA in the early 60’s as a young teener. He was a big influence on me for better or worse. I saw his stuff at the Guggenheim in Venice, I’ve been to Springs twice. So my view is emotional and intellectual. I really could give a rats ass what anyone else thinks of him. My take on him is not simple admiration or scholarship. That’s all I will say.