Male and Female 1942
Above is not necessarily my favorite Jackson Pollock, but the one I fell in love with first. A student of realism when I was growing up, my natural hand at rendering things made me respect mechanical accuracy and live in the absence of the modern creative spirit.
I had great art teachers in my teenage years. Janet Masterson and Michael O’Neal you gave us all the eyes of wanderers and dreamers, thank you. I remember being tasked with a paper on Pollock and being exposed simultaneously to Jungian psychology, Shamanistic societies, alcoholism and heartbreak, madness rendering brilliance.
Pollock’s less popular abstract work feels like the mind gathering evidence for a more complicated idea. In Male and Female there is wrought color, tabulation, effort-scrawled shape showing disparity and interplay.
Mural on Indian Red Ground 1950
The famous drip works are not visually exciting the way his abstract expressionist pieces are. They are peaceful to me in their energy. They are molecules spinning in the bonds.
“Letting the Paint be Paint” is something I still take to heart. I relish in the material, and feel the catharsis of letting your body be rhythm rather than camera. Despite the tragedies in his life and early death, as a child I always equated success as an artist with the rock and roll status of Jackson Pollock.