Jackson Pollock: The drip painter


My painting does not come from the easel. I prefer to tack the unstretched canvas to the hard wall or the floor. I need the resistance of a hard surface. On the floor I am more at ease. I feel nearer, more part of the painting, since this way I can walk around it, work from the four sides and literally be in the painting.I continue to get further away from the usual painter’s tools such as easel, palette, brushes, etc. I prefer sticks, trowels, knives and dripping fluid paint or a heavy impasto with sand, broken glass or other foreign matter added.

When I am in my painting, I’m not aware of what I’m doing. It is only after a sort of ‘get acquainted’ period that I see what I have been about. I have no fear of making changes, destroying the image, etc., because the painting has a life of its own. I try to let it come through. It is only when I lose contact with the painting that the result is a mess. Otherwise there is pure harmony, an easy give and take, and the painting comes out well.

—Jackson Pollock, My Painting, 1956
 John Pollocks painting featured in the film Ex Machina

Info about painting:

This is the most expensive contemporary painting ever sold. The painting was done with thick amounts of brown and yellow paint drizzled on top of it, forming a nest-like appearance. It was painted in 1948 by Jackson Pollock, known for his contributions to the abstract expressionist movement. Number 5 was sold in 2006 in a Private sale, for $140 million.

The original painting is 2.4 meters X 1.2 meters on fiberboard, rather heavy.
Pollock originally sold it for $1500 to the Abstractionist artist/collector Alfonso A. Ossorio, but it was damaged during delivery. Pollock thought he could patch it up without Ossorio noticing the difference, but his patron did indeed notice. So Pollock “repaired” it a second time by painting over it an entirely new creation.

Pollock repaired the damage to the painting by completely altering the original, in contrast to how other artworks are repaired. The reconstruction had not only retained but reinforced the metaphysical concept of the painting and has become what Ossorio calls “a wonderful example of an artist having a second chance”.

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