Who the #$&% is Jackson Pollack?

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Jackson Pollack is one of my favorite artists. I don’t know why but respond very emotionally to most abstract expressionism. De Kooning is another favorite. There is a De Kooning here in town at the Kemper Museum that I like to go see. There is also a Pollock at the Nelson in the new wing. It’s nice, but not one of his more important works. I love the deconstruction of forms and the large scale…I just think it’s beautiful.

Anyway, I just watched this film (documentary) called Who #$&% is Jackson Pollock? about an eccentric truck-driving grandma named Teri Horton who thinks she bought an authentic Jackson Pollock painting in a thrift shop. The movie documents her quest to authenticate it, but the real topic of the film is the obtuse egoism of the art world. It’s pretty funny and very illuminating – worth watching.

The film made me consider a question: Why do I like Jackson Pollack? Is it because someone told me his work was good so I started to appreciate it? I really never paid attention to abstract expressionism until I spent some time in the Moma in NYC. After a few hours in the Jackson Pollack room I was really hooked. But part of that experience was learning about the form and philosophy behind the genre. It was also very different standing there in front of a canvas measuring 10 feet by 20 feet.

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