Jackson Pollock is a well-known painter from the modern era who is often considered as one of the forefathers of modern art. From a young age, he was drawn to creativity and worked hard to improve his craft. He moved to New York before finishing his official education to pursue his creative passion. Thomas Hart Benton, an American painter who impacted his work, was his teacher. His paintings were influenced by a variety of other artists, yet his inventiveness and innovation were unrivaled in every way. He rejected all traditional modes of painting and developed his own methods, which have remained unique in the world of art to this day. He is known for his drip paintings, which he created by pouring colors over the canvas. He didn’t paint in any one style, and he didn’t use any single tool. He also sat the canvas on the floor and painted it from every angle. His vivid and abstract works established him as a key player in the ‘abstract expressionist’ movement. Pollock’s works continue to enlighten and entertain people to this day.
Childhood and Adolescence
On January 28, 1912, in Cody, Wyoming, he was born to LeRoy Pollock and Stella May McClure. He was the youngest of five siblings, with four older brothers. His family relocated to Arizona and California from Wyoming.
Jackson accompanied his father on surveying expeditions when he was a boy because his father worked as a surveyor. That’s how he became familiar with American society.
He attended the ‘Manual Arts High School’ when the family lived in Los Angeles, California. He was expelled from this school, as he had been from another in 1928. In 1930, he traveled to New York, where he stayed with his brother Charles, and the two of them entered the ‘Art Students League,’ where they were taught by American painter Thomas Hart Benton. Pollock was not particularly impacted by Benton’s subjects, but he was influenced by his teacher’s metrical manner of painting and boundlessness. In a New York art school in 1936, he came across liquid painting by Mexican mural painter David Alfaro Siqueiros.
Career of Jackson
From 1938 until 1942, he worked for the ‘WPA Federal Art Project,’ the visual arts arm of the ‘Federal Project Number One,’ a ‘New Deal’ program in the United States that operated during the Great Depression. He was addicted to alcohol and used ‘Jugian psychotherapy’ therapies to overcome his addiction from 1938 to 1941, with the support of Dr. Joseph Henderson and then Dr. Violet Staub de Laszlo. In 1945, he married and moved into his new home in Long Island, New York, which is today known as the ‘Pollock-Krasen House and Studio.’ He constructed a studio there, where he painted and perfected his craft.
He used a liquid painting method that he had learned years before. The gifted artist pioneered new painting techniques that became known as the drip painting technique. To make images, he used rods, hardened brushes, and even syringes as painting instruments instead of regular paint brushes. Pollock didn’t hang his canvas on the wall; instead, he placed it on the floor, which allowed him to paint from all angles and gave him a multi-directional view of the images he created. The artist’s dripping method is widely recognized as the start of ‘gestural abstraction’ or ‘motion painting.’ Janet Sobel, a Ukrainian American artist, is said to have influenced his multi-directional painting technique.
This creative painter avoided using his hands and wrists in his paintings and instead used his complete body to create a picture. Many intentional factors, such as his body mobility, and involuntary factors, such as the amount of paint absorbed by the canvas, influenced his painting method. He’d combine all of these elements to create an image and keep toying with colors until he got what he wanted. His pouring painting style developed the most between 1947 and 1950, often known as the ‘drip period.’ He became well-known as a result of this strategy. However, when he reached the pinnacle of his reputation as an artist in America, he abruptly abandoned the employment of this approach.
He eventually moved away from colors and created images that approximated darkness, including a series of black paintings on unprimed canvases. Later, he returned to colorful and abstract painting, and he became involved with a commercial gallery, where he received a lot of demand for his works. This put him under a lot of mental strain, so he turned to alcohol for comfort, which led to an increase in his reliance on intoxication. To avoid any prejudiced notions about the painting developing their own interpretations, he did not name his paintings until later in his career and instead numbered them. In 1955, he created two paintings, ‘Scent’ and ‘Search,’ but the following year, he was so engrossed in his drinking that he did not produce any new work.
Major Works of Jackson
The years 1947-50 were the most formative in his career, when he produced works such as ‘One: Number 31.’ This picture was ranked eighth among the most influential works of modern art. Jackson Pollock and his drip painting method became prominent during this period, which is known as the ‘Drip period.’ His picture ‘Blue Pores,’ from 1952, is likewise regarded as one of the artist’s masterpieces.
Personal Life and Legacy
In October 1945, he married fellow painter Lee Krasner. This painter was killed in a car accident on August 11, 1956, while driving while inebriated. The catastrophe occurred near his home and claimed another life in addition to Pollock’s. The ‘Green River Cemetery’ is where this artist is buried. Pollock’s works were preserved after his death by his wife, who was in charge of their estate and the preservation of Pollock’s paintings. She even established the ‘Pollock-Krasner Foundation,’ which provided grants to emerging artists.
After his death, an exhibition devoted to Jackson Pollock was organized at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and another show in his honor was held in 1967. His ingenuity continues to fascinate people, and his paintings are frequently featured in shows at the ‘Museum of Modern Art’ in New York and the ‘Tate Modern’ art gallery in London. The ‘Pollock-Krasner House and Studio’ is run by a non-profit organization affiliated with Stony Brook University.
Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith wrote a biography of Jackson Pollock in 1989.
In the year 2000, a biographical film based on Pollock’s history, ‘Pollock,’ was released, and actress Marcia Gay Harden, who played Krasner Lee in the film, received the ‘Academy Award For Best Supporting Actress.’ For his drip painting approach, this famous artist was dubbed ‘Jack the Dripper’ by ‘Time’ magazine in 1956.
Estimated Net Worth
Jackson Pollock net worth: Jackson Pollock was an American painter and abstract expressionist who had a net worth equal to $5 million at the time of his death. Jackson Pollock was born in Cody, Wyoming in January 1912 and passed away in August 1956. He became popular for his style of drip painting.