Monday, December 19, 2005

Jack the Dripper

Wonderful movie on TV1 last night about Jackson Pollock. The emotional scenes were a drag, but the painting bits were choice. Great art history lesson. Hate to sound like a Maori philistine, but I'd always assumed he was Afro-American (with a name like "Jackson"). Only ever known him in his usual famous dribbly style. Used to HATE him! Thought he was another overrated phoney like Colin MacCahon (sp?) i.e. anything even I could whip up in 2 minutes, can't possibly be 'great art.' Mistakenly thought his pics were merely computer screen size (only ever seen 'em in books & mags) like busting open a few different coloured biros and shaking them 'round.

But one day 'bout a year ago (can't remember where - internet? TV? mag?) saw one of his huge murals. Impressed by sheer size & had aesthetic epiphany. Although 'random' looking, his 'splashings' somehow seemed to have an overall visual 'coherence' - some sorta unified underlying structure, as if not so random after all. Mostly, it was very pleasing to look at. Very pretty, in fact, in all its messy chaos. Soothing on the eye, very few colours - not an explosion in a day-glo factory - but still nice & calm & warm. Very 'gentle' too, despite being 'energetic', often dark (hues), harried-looking & mentally hyper-stimulating [evoking profound curiosity & wonder]. After that, I've always liked him. Every time I see a Pollock, those same pleasurable sensations are aroused. I get him, now! Or at least get something from him - LOL. As they say: "I don't know much about art, but I know what I like." :-)

Camille Paglia (whose opinions on art matters I revere) thinks he's a genius ranking with Picasso. I wouldn't quite put him that high, but he's definitely a major figure IM-uneducated-O. In the movie [have no idea how true & autobigraphical it was] he's a real p*sshead. Hmm, I could be just like him if I drank more ;-)

He ends up crashing his car drunk, killing himself & passenger. I've always believed that anti-drink drive ad campaign: "If you drink & drive, you're a bloody idiot." Jackson Pollock was a Great Artist & a bloody idiot.


phil said...

ps- feel like an idiot commenting on own blog - LOL, but...


I remember why I thought JP was black. An old Patti Smith song "Rock n Roll nigger" came back in a memory flash:

IIRC: "Jimi Hendrix was a nigger... Jackson Pollock, was a nigger..."

& pps- I didn't, of course, come up with moniker "Jack the Dripper" (lest those more clueless about art than me, think I'm clever).

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Yes, his was a rare talent. He got more money out of Gough Whitlam for a daub which a few years later flaked (how appropriate) than it cost to buy a couple of F111s. (as I remember it)