Jackson Pollock’s paintings inspire(d) fashion

11 Mar

Painter Jackson Pollock

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.

tumblr_lzrj9kWHFt1r1bfd7o1_400Lee Krasner & Jackson Pollock during the interview for Life Magazine
pollockandkrasnerJackson Pollock & Lee Krasner 1949
J_P & L_K
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.

Jackson-Pollock-1943-Mural-631Mural by Jackson Pollock, 1949

The film ‘Pollock’ contains a fantastic scene about Jackson painting ‘Mural’. Click on the link underneath to watch this scene….




Lee & Jackson in Long Island
paul-jackson-pollockPhotograph of Jackson Pollock for the Life magazine article

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


Ann Demeulenmeester

Dries van Noten

Dior Homme

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

3 Responses to “Jackson Pollock’s paintings inspire(d) fashion”

  1. Kiki Kouthoofd 11 March 2012 at 12:55 #

    Beautiful story & pictures… very inspiring! Thanks Miss ‘über creative!’ ; )

  2. Philip Dunnery 14 July 2016 at 12:16 #

    Hi , I love Jackson Pollocks work and am looking for fabric of his design to make a shirt .Does anyone know where I could find ?


    Phil Dunnery


    • A.G.Nauta couture 14 July 2016 at 14:02 #

      Hello Phil,

      I don’t know if and where to buy it, but I made it myself a couple of times!
      You can buy textilepaint (in small plastic containers, not in tubes) in different
      colours and drip over fabric with a brush….
      You can buy textiel paint on Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Scola-FAB150-6-A-Textile/dp/B000OGQC4I

      with regards,
      Netty Nauta

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: