I first saw a Jackson Pollock painting at a gallery in New York. I don’t have an art education and I didn’t know anything about the painter or his work, it just appealed to me very much. Years later I saw the movie Pollock by Ed Harris and it is one of my top ten movies of all times. It is both the work and his life that inspires me so much.
Pollock was self-educated and he had to travel a long road before he found his own style. He experimented in abstract expressionism. Jackson Pollock’s work and private life could not have developed without Lee Krasner, later his wife and a painter too, who dedicated herself to Pollock knowing he needed a lot of guiding and taking care of. Lee gave up her own ambitions for Pollock and only started painting again after his death.
Lee Krasner & Jackson Pollock during the interview for Life Magazine Jackson Pollock & Lee Krasner 1949
Jackson Pollock & lee Krasner
Lee Krasner was the one who made sure Pollock got noticed by art dealers and buyers. She asked Howard Putzel to introduce Jackson’s work to Peggy Guggenheim, who realized his unique talent and commissioned him to make an enormous wall painting for the hallway of her new townhouse and this fabulous work of art called ‘Mural’ was the start of his recognition.
The film ‘Pollock’ contains a fantastic scene about Jackson painting ‘Mural’. Click on the link underneath to watch this scene….
Lee Krasner and Pollock moved from New York city to Long Island, trying to get Pollock’s alcoholism under control and get him more space and solitude to work in. That’s the place where he finally found his style; dripping. Later he was nicknamed ‘Jack the dripper’. To achieve the complex and subtle structural interlace that characterizes his mature work, Pollock had indeed dripped, poured, and spattered his pigments across the vast expanse of raw canvas. The painting is the result of both split-second decision-making and happenstance, choreography and chance. Each physical “performance” was a unique, spontaneous, and unrepeatable event, but the final product was always subject to artistic will. I can control the flow of the paint,” Pollock contended. “There is no accident.”
It’s also during these years, Jackson got his global recognition, after a raving article in Life Magazine.
Dubble page from the article in Life magazine
Number 31, by Jackson Pollock
During the dripping years and enormous success of the paintings produced in this period, Filmer Hans Namuth followed Pollock for a longer period and made a beautiful little documentary. Not only the paintings are spectacular, the way Pollock moved in the process looks like a dance performance. In the course of the process of making this documentary Pollock discovered he couldn’t work with people watching/being around him.
Last picture of Jackson Pollock before his death, together with Ruth Kligman
Pollock’s fame only lasted a few of years, from his recognition at 37 till his death at 44. By the end he was no longer painting. Lee Krasner could no longer stand his adultery and went abroad for a while, when Pollock ‘staged’ his own death by drinking himself blind, driving his car at night with his mistress Ruth Kligman and her friend Edith Metzger in it, into a tree. Edith and Pollock died in the crash. Lee Krasner lived for another 28 years in which she managed Pollocks estate.
I would like to write a lot more about Jackson Pollock’s work and life, but this is a fashion blog not an art blog… If you want to know more I can recommend you to watch the movie Pollock by Ed Harris, who not only directed the movie, but also played the character Jackson Pollock, was nominated for Best Actor for an Academy Award. Marcia Gay Harden, who played Lee Krasner, won the award for Best Supporting Actress for her phenomenal performance in the movie.
Jackson Pollock’s paintings influenced fashion at different times in different ways.
The First time Pollock’s work inspired fashion was when some of his paintings were used as background in a series of pictures in a Vogue issue of 1951, photographed by Cecil Beaton.
Another influence of Pollock’s work in fashion is the dripping technique reproduced on fabrics and clothes by designers like Ann Demeulenmeester, Dries van Noten, Dior Homme and Dolce & Gabanna
Dries van Noten
Dolce & Gabbana, spring-summer collection 2008.
Alexander McQueen, 1999 a performance attributing to painting and painters....
Jackson Pollock's genuine work shirts
Jackson Pollock's paintcans