Jackson Pollock, his paintings are famous and so is he, a seminal figure to be sure. Besides being famous, his paintings are unbelievably expensive, and just in case you wanted to buy one, here’s what you get. Jackson couldn’t do representation, so you’d acquire a revolutionary form of painting, one that profoundly embodies despair, frustration, and futility. Some said at the time that Jackson’s work wasn’t art, but you wouldn’t hear that from me. I see the spontaneous, totally authentic expression of monumental social unease and self-doubt turned aggressive and belligerent through the medium of alcohol. Beyond rendering his inner existential tantrum, the work, itself, has also been gloriously self-destructive, commercial paint solvents eating away at raw canvas, and museums keep his paintings on constant life-support. Pure genius, that.
The question is, if you’re not a terminal alcoholic verging toward suicide, why would you want to own one of Jackson’s paintings, or even spend much time in front of one at a museum? The awful truth about art is, it’s really true – art reveals the artist at whatever level you care to look, and sometimes you find yourself in there, too.