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Friday Jan 28, 2011

Dripping Bullets Redux

© Hans Namuth
Jackson Pollock,1950, Long Island, NY

Jackson Pollock was born today on January 28, 1912 in Cody, Wyoming.

Pollock was a great artist willing to take risks. Although he wasn’t the first to use action drip painting, it was his ‘drippings’ that caught on and catapulted him into fame, which, for Jackson, became as unendurable as being unknown. Despite recognition in his lifetime, his demons eventually won out.

From the chapter ‘Jackson, We Love You’ in my book, An Artist Empowered:

Jackson Pollock’s (1912-1956) rise to fame and subsequent self-destruction tells a story.

In the 1940’s, art collector and dealer, Peggy Guggenheim, arranged for Jackson Pollock’s first one-man show, which was a success; she also provided him with a monthly stipend of $150, and gave him a commission: a mural for the entryway of her New York apartment, a painting some called expensive wallpaper.

The American art critic Clement Greenberg, who saw truth in Pollock’s paintings, was one of the first to champion the artist’s work.

Despite being taken seriously by these and other makers and shakers in the art establishment, Pollock wasn’t an instant hit. He endured severe personal doubts and hard financial times for most of his life.