Happy Birthday to Jackson Pollock born this day on January 28, 1912 in Cody, Wyoming. Throughout his childhood, his family lived on a succession of truck farms in Arizona and Southern California. When he was sixteen, Pollock first studied art at Manual Arts High School in Los Angeles, where he met Philip Guston and Reuben Kadish, two friends who later became artists. As they say… the rest is history.
Paul Jackson Pollock was a major influence in the Abstract Expressionist movement. Abstract Expressionism was aimed at subjective emotional expression with particular emphasis on the creative spontaneous act or action painting. Pollock was well known for his unique style of drip painting, earned the nickname “Jack the Dripper” because of his technique. During his lifetime, Pollock enjoyed considerable fame and notoriety; he was a major artist of his generation. Regarded as reclusive, he had a volatile personality, and struggled with alcoholism for most of his life.
Pollack’s painting style has been studied and questioned for decades. Considered by some as a ‘farce’ and others as a ‘master of art’, one thing is for sure, his painting and style was expressive and stirred emotion and questions.
What does it mean?
Does it really matter what it means, though? Today, his work is worth millions.
Number 5 – Top Most Expensive Painting in History
On the ten most expensive paintings in history, No. 5 painted in 1948, a 8-foot by 4-foot piece of fibreboard, covered in drips of brown and yellow paint sold for 165.4 million in 2006.
A ‘drip’ – A Recent Find
In June 2017, a long-lost Jackson Pollock painting once owned by a New York City socialite — and worth up to $15 million — was discovered in a dusty Arizona garage. The splattered abstract art was found in a Scottsdale home when the owner was actually having a L.A. Lakers basketball poster appraised. The appraiser happened to notice an orange and green painting featuring Pollack’s signature splatter under a pile of art.
One thing lead to another and the appraiser hired a private investigator to prove it was the real deal. Lucky find that day!
Pollock created many important works of art in his short life. Unfortunately he died at the age of 44 in an alcohol-related single-car accident when he was driving. In December 1956, four months after his death, Pollock was given a memorial retrospective exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City which was an important influence on his career and on his legacy.