Pollock - Delving into the Soul of the Tragically Gifted

Essay by umkchellUniversity, Master'sA+, April 2004

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A man is crouching over a canvas. He has just begun work on his latest creation when he hesitates. It is during this hesitation that he will achieve, what all artists long for, a breakthrough. He has just dipped his brush in a can of paint when he pauses only to, after a time, notice the paint dripping off of the brush and onto the floor. He sees the pattern the dribbling paint has begun to form on the floor and he is struck by a moment of inspiration. He stands over the canvas, dips the brush in the paint and holds it above the canvas making elegant movements as if he were conducting an orchestra. The moment finally takes hold of him and he begins to use the brush as if it were a catapult, flailing bursts of paint upon the canvas. It is in this moment that Jackson Pollock finds himself born again.

Pollock is a stellar movie with an even more stellar cast. It is one of the best biographical films ever made. Taking place in the early to mid 20th century in America, it is a superb rendition of the life and times of a great, but troubled artist who embodies the greatness of Abstract Expressionism. This movie takes us through the triumph and tragedies of perhaps one of the most famous and recognized American artists of the 20th century. From his days as a wondering painter with nothing much going for him, to his meeting with his forever lover Lee Krasner, the world wide recognition of his art, and the tragic demise of the artist. Extremely personal in so many ways, it's not just a movie in which we get to see the daily life of an artist, but a movie that helps us...