Sunday, January 07, 2007

Pollock: Read the Book then see the Film!

When Doubt Doubles the Delight!
Hi all,
Writing yesterdays post 'Ten Most Expensive Paintings Ever' set me thinking about its winner Jackson Pollock. He who was famous as an alcoholic, manic depressive and expressionist action painter. At college I could never 'get' what was so ‘wonderful’ about his work (anyone can do that squiggle stuff right?) Despite my tutors caustic "Ah, wait until you see his work in the flesh" I was unconvinced. Then I did see it in the flesh and that changed everything.

In London, 1999 the Tate held the first Pollock retrospective in 40 years. It was a sensation! That 'squiggle stuff' totally blew me away. As I wandered amidst those massive canvas's every preconception I had hitherto harbored melted away. Only when you get up close can you really begin to appreciate the sheer complexity of his paintings. They are so tactile as to be edible and possess a power to draw you in which verges on the hypnotic. Yes, yes I know that to the skeptical eye looking at a second rate reproduction they might seem but childish scribbles. But just stand before the real deal and you will surely feel such notions vanish forever.

For all and any interested in all things Pollock I would thoroughly recommend the Pulitzer Prize winning work Jackson Pollock: An American Saga. (Pictured above, right) Yes it may be a 900 page plus door stop of a book but it's absolutely addictive! Also, if you haven’t already, I suggest you grab a copy of the Ed Harris film Pollock (Pictured above, left) which is (in my humble opinion!) quite simply the best biography of an artist ever made. Great book and a superb film, double the delight!
Catch you later