Monday, August 8, 2011

No. 5, 1948

I have grown increasingly weary of those who are all fluff and no substance.  You know the type:  He or she is riddled with all kinds of empty accusations, likes to point fingers, and avoids admittance of fault at any cost.  All of this is mask, hiding the true, featureless void that this person is at his or her very core.  While charismatically mincing words and expressing unreachable promises, seduced viewers and fans are duped into thinking this person can and will do "great" things.

Immediately, I'm sure each one of you reading this has someone in mind, maybe even someone famous.  Regardless of seeming implication--and yes, I, too, have a few people in mind--the intent here is to express an emotion that comes with this frustration based upon an individual.  Setting aside the person or persons, the root of this emotion in principle remains almost the same when it comes to works of "art" that really aren't work or art.  And as I segway into how all of this relates to this week's piece, I make no apologies for those who may be offended.  In fact, I expect a few to feel differently than I but certainly hope what is expressed isn't discarded as rubbish or for lack of knowledge.

After all, art is created to be a visual source of entertainment and meaning for anyone who wishes to gaze upon it.  The job of the artist is to ensure his or her works evoke an emotion or message that is relative and understandable.  And when it is not, then that artist has failed no matter what anyone else may say.

No. 5, 1948 by Jackson Pollock (1912-1956) is an 8'x4' painted fiberboard drizzled with brown and yellow paints to create a nest-like appearance.  This particular painting is considered the most expensive and valuable art piece in history and sold for $140 million US in 2006.

... What to say?  Okay, on one hand, I think about how marvelous this piece would look in a darker, modern-styled interior office or home especially if bordered by harsh grays and metal trim.  On the other hand, I'm void of any impression of what is being expressed other than to assume it must mean chaos and thus this relates to very little.  Yes, as I've stated many times, there are moments in life where things can get extremely hectic and taxing upon one's emotions but I don't sense that with this painting at all.

My efforts to try and find something in this squiggly mess is like bouncing around a rubber room in a straight-jacket.  Here is how my thought process develops:  A monkey on 4 cups of double espresso and some paint could do this! → Wait, do I see a figure or shape in there? → Man, if I ever buy a home and go modern with my interior design, this would look sweet over the fireplace! → But it's just a bunch of spilled strings of paint with seemingly no meaning in motion and if a stiff breeze or his wife bumped into Pollock, would it have looked all that different?

Yet, have I done what art is meant to do?  By studying it and expressing what I may or may not feel and sense, aren't I reacting to art as it is meant to be?

Honestly, I'd rather pay off all my bills, buy a fantastic house along the beach, get that dream car, go on a very long vacation to exotic and historical locations, buy my family some spectacular and needed gifts, and then put the rest into investments and savings than fork over $140,000,000.00 for this but to each their own.  Right?

The bottom line is Pollock has created something that is concretely timeless and awe-inspiring.  While I may find it a bit silly on some levels, I am intrigued on others and I suppose--and admitting--perhaps this is a extremely amazing painting that deep down, I wish I could have.

Or should I head to the local store for a fiberboard, some brown and yellow paint, and a monkey?

Don't give me that look!  Someone had to say it!

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