There are several artists who have influenced my work and my passion for the arts. One of my favorite is Jackson Pollock. Pollocks works inspire me to be creative even if my creativity is random. “Jackson Pollack was an American artist who had an important influence on modern painting as an important figure in the abstract expressionist movement.”(World Book)
Jackson Pollock was born January 28, 1912 in Cody, Wyoming into a family of four boys with Jackson being the youngest. His family moved to California where his father worked for the government as a surveyor. In 1930 Jackson joined his eldest brother Charles in New York City where he attended the Art Students League. There Pollack studied under Thomas Hart Benton. It was at the Art Student League that he first started dabbling in art. Some of his first works were “sketches using twisted counter shifts modeled after European artist such as Michelangelo, Rubens, and one of his personal favorites El Greco.” (nga.gov) He also experimented in pottery. He made several ceramic pieces like vases, bowls and plates. Most of the bowls he created were donated to Mrs. Benton Thomas Benton’s wife to sell for profits to help benefit the struggling artist in the area.
The paintings created during 1931-1934 like Going West or Bird is examples of abstract expressionism. Growing up in the west Pollack painted several pieces with western scenes. “He made spasmodic trips to that area after he came to live in New York as a young man and his consciousness was conditioned, always, by early memories of the West.”(Robertson, B.) At first glance the early collection might be overlooked for a piece by an amateur painter because at the time he was an amateur painter. As his craft grew so did his painting style and theme.
... Modern artist does not just put their painting s on and on, they work also with harmony. (Harmony is the art principle that ... . They became known as pop artists. Internationally, abstract painting continued to develop, resulting in op art, in which stark black-and ... at will. Abstract expressionism is spontaneity. Wassily Kandinsky and Jackson Pollock are the best known of the abstract expressionism ...
His works begin to reflect his sporadic emotions. “Jackson Pollock said regarding his art “When I am in a painting, I’m not aware of what I’m doing. It is only after a sort of ‘get acquainted’ period that I see what I have been about. I have no fears about making changes, destroying the image, etc, because the painting has a life of its own. I try to let it come through. It is only when I lose contact with the painting that the result is a mess. Otherwise there is pure harmony, an easy give and take, and the painting comes out well.”(1artclub)
Although he is now a famous artist and his works are studied and collected by many, Pollock did not acquire fame easily and there was much sacrificed on behalf of all those who loved and cared for and about him and his works. He suffered from alcoholism and depression. Like so many artist unfortunately, his work was significantly more appreciated after his tragic death. In the movie Pollack Jackson is portrayed to be a bit manic and known to have random backlashes and outburst stemming from his drinking, especially when his art was the subject of discussion. Critics struggled to identify what his exact style was and Jackson refused to identify it. This was part of the reason he was critically judged thorough out his career.
After leaving the Art League School Pollack became a member of the League and took on a job for the mural commission of Indiana. “In 1937 Jackson began psychiatric treatment for his alcoholism.” (O’Connor, F.) During this period of his life he worked for the Works Project Administration (WPA) “He was required to submit for allocation one painting about every eight weeks, depending on its size and his normal rate of production “(O’Connor, F. ) for eight years. He would make approximately $7,800. Jackson meets Lee Krasner, a fellow surrealist in the American art world who had heard of Pollack and wanted to meet him before participating in an art show together. It was not until many years later that the two would marry. Lee Krasner was Pollock’s biggest supporter, best friends and love of his life.
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She understood Pollack in ways even he did not. Pollocks work had a strong Native American theme, which came from traveling with his father as a surveyor for the US government. An example of one of these pieces is Guardians of the Secret which he showed in his first one man show, sponsored by Miss Guggenheim. In this painting there is what appears to be a dead animal or person with a mask on, perhaps a wolf head. I think this may be a sacrifice or an accident cover up. It looks like four people standing around a tomb or table have a discussion. One of the figures seems to have a crown on. All of the figures have animalistic mask or maybe paint on their faces. On the tomb or table it looks like scribbles or an ancient script. The manly also resemble totems poles. The painting could be if a burial, or a ritual. Whatever the case it is a beautiful painting and like most of Pollock works the meaning is left up to the viewer.
As Pollock continued to mature as an artist so did his work. In 1943 Pollock signed a one year contract with Peggy Guggenheim an avid art collector and owner of a museum-gallery called Art of This Century. The contract stipulated he receive “$150 a month and a settlement at the end of the year if more than $2700 worth of paintings were sold, allowing one third to the gallery. If less than this amount were realized, Miss Guggenheim would receive paintings to make-up the difference.”(O’Connor, F.) Pollack was also promised a one man show and a commission for a mural he would paint in Miss Guggenheims home. In 1950-1951 Pollock began painting in black and white. This is said to be the climax of Pollock’s inspiration. Unlike other artist Pollock numbered his paintings instead of naming all of them.
When he was inspired he painted pictures at such a rate a number system was the best way to keep track of what he was producing. “Number Thirty Two, in particular, should be considered as a twentieth-century masterpiece: a perpetual mobile of whiplash line which has, in its cool muscularity, something of the improvisatory nature of jazz” (Robertson, B.) Soon after this period Pollock developed the black and white theme further into his splatter painting or drip painting as he was nicknamed “Jack the Dripper” by Time magazine in 1956.
... the four sides and be literally 'in;' the painting." -Jackson Pollock, 1947. This made time magazine give him the ... Art Students League. Thomas Benton was already a great artist at the time in which Pollock ... Matt Fran a Essentials of Art Jackson Pollock Jackson Pollock was an American abstract artist born ... workshop painted the murals for the WPA Federal Art Projects. This new group of people started ...
The first of this series was Lavender Mist. Pollock had created an international sensation of action painting. “Harold Rosenberg, described it, the canvas now became an arena in which to act, instead of a space in which to represent a real or imagined object, as it had been traditionally.” ( Busignani, A.) In 1946 Pollock and his wife moved to the East Hamptons. He would spend the remaining years of his life in a drunken violent rage. In 1956 Jackson Pollock was drunk driving when he had a violent accident that would take his and two other lives. His struggling career and unexpected death contribute to his legendary art status.
O’Connor, Francis. “Jackson Pollock” Museum of Modern Art. New York. 1967 Robertson, Bryan. “Jackson Pollock” Library of Congress. Harry N. Abrams Inc. New York. 1960. World Book Encyclopedia, 2002, v15. P. p. 646