Archive for the ‘Jackson Pollock’ category

Number One of 1948 by Jackson Pollock – my comment

19 January 2012

Many months ago,  I chose this painting of Jackson Pollock as my favourite as to me it represented Nature. I had promised to give my interpretation but had not. So here it is. Being no art critic, please bear with me for when my interpretation does not satisfy you. Any way, it shouldn’t and only your own interpretation should suffice. So analyse away.

I see in this image a view of nature as she is most times – not picture perfect but banal, full of weeds, thorns, scrub recovering after being disturbed by man. But always from the depths, you can hear just out of sight the birds going about their business. On the floor, the mice come out at night, and the snakes. And the insects and the small animals.

Marcus Aurelius, emperor-philosopher

The bush holds this poignant promise of a surprise for the young boy who explores it. This is nature as I see it in the outskirts of humanity – transformed yes but undefeated, essentially unchanged. Life goes on – there is brutal competition and perfect cooperation. There are the gawky bones of a frog overtaken by marauding ants and the delicately crafted nest of the tailor-bird. There is the banal cawing of crows and the delicate duet of Grey Francolins. There is the stink of the nala running alongside and the delicate perfume of the mogra flower. All these are there for people to see – but man is blind. He sees the green tangle but not the life, the intensity, the intricacy.

To quote my friend Shyamal, paraphrasing Marcus Aurelius, the great philosopher and Roman Emperor

“Observe how things are connected and how things act together. See the beautiful web.”

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Nature All Over! Jackson Pollock’s art.

5 May 2010

Jackson Pollock at work.

Jackson Pollock was one of the great modern painters of the world, who developed a very unique style of art, now referred to as “All Over”. To understand Pollock, see the film “Pollock” starring two actors whom I admire tremendously – Ed Harris and Marcia Gay Harden. Harden won an Academy Award for her role as Pollock’s wife, Lee Krasner who was an accomplished painter in her own right.

Pollock’s style is abstract. I first mistook one of his painting as an image of a burnished marble table-top. Pollock used to give these abstracts names but felt that people searched the painting for the motifs and this prevented them from seeing the painting in its true avatar, as a unique creation, something to be interpreted for what it is and not for what it is named. So he started numbering them instead.

Many people tried unsuccessfully to imitate Pollock’s style where lines, shapes, forms are subsumed and the brush strokes create a great harmony of colours and shapes. In these are hidden, like in a child’s puzzle, the images and messages that are present.

"Moby Dick"

The fact that viewing and interpreting the painting is an intimately personal experience and that each person will interpret it differently should not lead you to think that it is just “bakwaas” or what the viewers see in it is a figment of imagination.

While viewing a painting of Jackson Pollock, a good way to do so is by getting away from the classical, analytical mindset. Slow down, take your time, quieten your mind and look! The painting will form its own impressions in your mind, pay close attention to them. Amongst these impressions will be an interpretation that will cause you to come back and watch the painting over and over again – THAT is the true meaning of the painting for you.

"Enchanted Forest"

The one painting below is one which I like best of what I think are his “Nature” paintings. Though Pollock was inspired by nature and named some paintings after natural themes, this was named as just plain “Number One of 1948”.

"Plain Number One of 1948"

Pollock painted all over a canvas- his signature “drip” style lasted from 1947 till 1950h. He kept his paintings horizontal and worked from all sides. He used trowels, hardened brushes, sticks, and even basting syringes as paint applicators  and sand, broken glass and other materials to achieve his effects.

"Number 8"

My interpretation? Wait for it. I will give it to you after a week or so. In the meantime look closely at this canvas. What does it tell you about nature?

At least some of my readers by now must have a question waiting to be asked – “Are you kidding?”

No, I am not crazy, I do consider this bunch of coloured lines as a serious topic about Nature though not a single bird, flower or butterfly can be seen in it.

It would be good to remind you that :-

“In my Father’s house are many mansions.”
-The Bible, John 14:2

and that blogs should not provide just “fast food”, but “healthy nutritious food” from time to time, too!

More nature images of Pollock? Do a Google Image search.