Paul Jackson "Heard It All Before" Pollock (January 28, 1912 – August 11, 1956) was a world-renowned American painter, famous for his unique technique of uncontrolled dribbling, known to masters of the trade as the "My four year old could do that" method.
Pollock was extremely influential in the development of "smmatternist" art, which is part of the general madernist movement away from drawing actual giraffes and towards making randomly colored puddles that represent Giraffes torn asunder by the immense gravity of a neutron star, dripped in green and red paint, which was actually one of Pollock's more well-known pieces. For this sort of meta-artistry, Pollock is rightfully considered to be many things, none of which are good or respectable.
Later in life Pollock extended his Smmatternist dabbling into various other fields. The farmers who own these fields promptly told Mr. Pollock to exit their fields, which he did with little incident or fanfare.
- 1 Who is Jackson Pollock, and why am I so Interested in Him?
- 2 His Artwork
- 2.1 Dinosaur Explosion (1942)
- 2.2 Angsty Orange Tiger(1943)
- 2.3 America Blows(1950)
- 2.4 America Blows Off(1951)
- 2.5 I can't believe you are actually buying this bullshit(1952)
- 2.6 My "Art" You Brain-Dead Imbecile. It's All Done by a Bunch of Trained Monkeys I Keep In My Garage. (1953)
- 2.7 Self Portrait, With Oldsmobile (Angry Monkey Fights Giant Fish in a Bear Suit Attacking Tokyo) (1953)
- 3 Jackson Pollock Conquers other Mediums
- 4 The Story of the Old Lady
- 5 External Links
Who is Jackson Pollock, and why am I so Interested in Him?
Pollock was not always a world-famous finger flinger. In fact, at one point in time, he was an entirely unknown finger flinger. His early experiments in art did not go well at all. His first performance art piece, entitled "PaintRollerSidewalk", involved him stripping stark naked, pouring 5 gallons of paint on his personage, and rolling around on the sidewalk in front of his apartment like the world's craziest, but most phallically gifted, paint roller. This performance won a small round of applause from a group of Methodists but also landed him in jail with the said Methodists. Word spread, however, of this young artist's audacity and inability. His art, like his phallus, became still more developed as Pollock learned to shake it all about without fear of ridicule. The art world took note of Pollock, his phallus and his art. It's hard to say which they liked more...
Soon Pollock was dazzling with the world with his deft display of dickery, and his audacious artistic alliteration. To put it mildly, he was on top of the world, and the world liked it that way, saying "He's so much better than the one that was there before."
Within a few short years Pollock was rolling around naked on the sidewalks of London and Paris, in front of Kings, Queens, and Archdukes. These acts had nothing to do with his art, which he was currently taking a sabattical from. Pollock simply felt the urge to roll around naked in public spaces, as we all do from time to time.
Luckily, for all involved, Pollock soon gave up nudism and went back to practicing his craft. He was now a consummate artist in every way, but he still had a bit of the old Pollock in him. In his pants.
Dinosaur Explosion (1942)
Some argue that this work, Dinosaur Explosion, is Jackson's masterpiece. It is generally interpreted as a rumination on the mating habits of the Brontosaurus, the flight of pterodactyls, or maybe what a bunch of dinosaurs would look like if they swallowed grenades. It was created in 1942 on a budget of 6 dollars of lead paint (Not actually used for the painting; Pollock drank it). Modern art scholars say that this work is perhaps the greatest thing ever produced by modern art; critics of modern art tend to agree.
Angsty Orange Tiger(1943)
In this 1944 painting, one can see how the exploration of Jungian archetypes has led to a more primal, aggressive tone appearing in the work. Pollock's piece is at once an excoriation and a celebration of our deep instinctual yearnings, a tone entirely absent in his earlier works: indeed, the earlier Pollock's style is almost unrecognizeable here. This painting depicts the mating practices of the Bengali Tiger, or perhaps represents an attempt to capture William Blake's poem "The Tyger" on canvas, or maybe its a picture of the floor of a frat house after initiations. Here, making use of the dissonant teal and pink letters, he spells out "Vincent Van Gogh", clearly an artistic challenge to the past master. By using Roman script, considered verboten in the fine art of the time, Pollock expands the very boundries of art itself, in a very rude and pushy manner. He didn't even say please before expanding those boundaries, just up and did it. He said this was was a "destruction of all that came before it" Clearly Pollock thought of literary convention as he thought of artistic convention.
America Blows, Pollock's first political work was famous for the controversy it started upon its first public showing at the New York Musuem of Art. The painting, portraying Jesus Christ shitting on the American flag (or perhaps the mating habits of Jesus Christ) drew intense criticism from all circles. President Dwight Eisenhower, upon seeing the lewd painting for the first time, famously exlaimed "Have this man arrested, have him detained, and have him drenched in paint!", to which the police officer in attendance said "He already is, sir." Everyone had a good laugh about that one, but you could tell Dwight was pissed because his eyebrow was twitching and his crotch was soaked. Catholic Archbishop of New Yory, Father Feelly said only "God pities this man. He pities him. And he hates him... As does Mr. T."
America Blows Off(1951)
With America Blows Off Pollock aimed to craft a statement about American consumer society, and in particular about the way in which the consumer is predetermined by the capitalist system to buy beer, beans and fajitas that the consumer almost certainly doesn't want and definitely doesn't need. The consumer only realizes this the next morning when his bowels melt down into a gaseous form and release their contempt for consumer society through Leon Trotsky, in this case symbolized by the sphincter muscle. In order to create the work, Pollock intended to marshal together five giraffes and a photographer. He set aside six weeks for the pencil sketches and preliminary plans and hired a catering company for the practical work. This was all intended by him for the work, but right at the last minute he thought "fuck it" and just threw a load of paint over a canvas. The painting also might represent the mating habits of the Australian Gray-Backed Rock Wallaby.
I can't believe you are actually buying this bullshit(1952)
Unlike other Pollock works, in which meaning is readily evident in the painting, this work is difficult to interpret. Pollock's cryptic title does little to relieve our ignorance: who is the "I" in the title, who is the "you" referring to, and what is the "bullshit" being referred to? Most Pollock scholars see this work as a repudiation of contemporary socio-political paradigms, such as Communism, Nationalism, Feminism and Star Trek Fanboy-ism, or else a rejection of organizational constructs such as the Church, political parties, and the Mickey Mouse Club. It could also have something to do with the mating habits of J. Edgar Hoover.
My "Art" You Brain-Dead Imbecile. It's All Done by a Bunch of Trained Monkeys I Keep In My Garage. (1953)
This, considered Pollock's masterpiece, is the most difficult of all to interpret. Scholars have pondered its meaning for a generation, but we are no closer to understanding what this deep and subtle thinker was trying to communicate. It may be a representation of the mating habits of bears. Or the mating habits of sharks. Or the mating habits of Paris Hilton (which would be interesting, considering that Paris Hilton hadn't been born yet, but Pollock was always ahead of his time). Our only hope to understanding Pollock's subtle message is to continue producing art-history majors and to continue consuming random substances in the long hope to conform our brains to the free-flowing patterns Mr. Pollock was experiencing when he deigned to grace this world with his drippings.
Self Portrait, With Oldsmobile (Angry Monkey Fights Giant Fish in a Bear Suit Attacking Tokyo) (1953)
Pollock's final painting, considered by critics to be a dreadful rehashing of past ideas and past fame, is usually regarded as a jumping of the shark, with a '52 Olds. To create the work, Pollock consumed a large amount of liquor and then wrapped his Oldsmobile convertible (and himself) around a large tree at 80 m.ph. This splattered section of highway was then cut out of the interstate and hung in the gallery. The work is generally interpreted as a statement about the automobile industry, in particular, a critique of Detroit's failure to make seat belts standard on the cars of the day. It could also represent the mating habits of Oscar Wilde. Less a work of modernism, more a work of decadant impressionism, the work is a sour note ending the symphony of his career. How his graceful, almost calligraphic use of the tools of his trade could deteriorate so quickly is testament more to the destructive influence of alcohol than to the effects of Pollock's once brilliant artistry. Critics now look upon this piece and lament the once brilliant career of one Jackson Pollock. How a painter could go from the delicious heights of earlier works like America Blows to this dreary mess is something critics are still in ardent debate about. One thing is for certain: with the destruction of Pollock's talent, we shall never see a painter as masterful as he.
Jackson Pollock Conquers other Mediums
In addition to his mastery of the medium of paint, brush, roller, canvas, phallice, sidewalk, old lady, pointed stick and whatever else Pollock, in his painting delirium, used to spread his colors, Pollock took up many different fields to help assuage his scattered brain. Pollock, at various points in time, became a leader in many areas, particularly the crotchal area.
Jackson Pollock does Chess
Jackson Pollock was a famous chess aficionado, who despite his love of the game, never made it above amateur status. Pollock, however, was a master of unorthdox chess strategies, such as the Bordeau opening stance (he would eat your pawns), the Flying Duck Surprise (he would throw a duck, sopping with paint, onto your lap, and then eat your pawns), and the French Castle (like the Bordeau opening, only he eats your rooks instead).
Jackson Pollock does Golf
Jackson soon grew bored and picked up golf as hobby. Inventive as always, Pollock created a style of play he called Jackson Pollock's Crazy Golf. The rules were trademark Pollock: there are no rules! Now your game can be really crazy! Tee off in London and wind up in an armadillo! Swallow the golf balls and add 10,000 points to your score! Die of a stroke due to the excitement and get a 3 stroke penalty for peanuts! Great fun for family, friends, convicted criminals and lunatics. Only $15.99 with the fireproof box. Trust us, you'll need it. Pollock sold his idea to Hasbro company, who made a test run of 1000 sets. Later, the game box expanded to over 200 square feet and house 400 golf balls, 15 golf clubs (only 2 of which are actual golf clubs), 16 hamsters, a chest of drawers, a life jacket, 2 gallons Russian vodka, a deck of playing cards, a copy of Dostoevsky's classic Notes from the Underground, and a lock of Pollock's own fetid hair. The game was a resounding success and was added to the 1950 Olympic games in Prague. It was, however, removed before the 1954 games due expense ($250,000,000), loss of life (37 dead) and the time required (6 months) to play one round of Jackson Pollock's Crazy Golf.
Jackson Pollock does Dallas
This is the one where he paints a limo by using the medium of a president's brain and a couple of bullets. Controversial at the time, it is now recognised as perhaps one of his greatest works, demonstrating as it does, that the convertable is probably not the most secure car for potential targets to go driving about in. To this very day critics debate the artistic merit of the concept. Some even believe Pollock plagararized the work, that it was really done by someone else, the mythic painter of the landscape A Grassy Knoll. None has been able to locate this rogue artist, so Pollock is credited with the work.
The Story of the Old Lady
The story goes that this old lady had a lot of works by Pollock bequethed to her by his niece because she'd always made her cookies when she cried. So there they were, up in her attic, for years, gathering dust. The old lady had put them in the attic because she said she didn't want to get sick every time she went into the living room. But, sick or not, she eventually died. Years passed as did the house, through the hands of various owners. Until another old lady bought the house and discovered the paintings in the attic! She phoned the museum of modern art who sent around a couple of boys with a polygraph and a Geiger counter. Once they'd cleared the old lady and realised that her story checked out, the owner of the museum paid her a personal visit with flowers.
Madam, these works are the epitome of existential beauty. They are the beating heart of our proud nation and they are in your attic. We thank you for your diligence in phoning us and we'll give you $50.00 for the lot
$50.00? For that load of old Pollock's?
She was, of course, for her philistinic response, shot. Her body is now part of the Pollock exhibit, a work entitled Maiden, Pollock, Maiden, Pollock, Maiden, Bullet, Pollock.
- Pollock or birds? A quiz to tell Pollock's paintings from bird crap.