This is Lavender Mist by Jackson Pollock.
Jackson Pollock painted this with his entire body. People call it a dance – he danced his paintings. When I think about what that is like I imagine something like he is truly witness of his body, the vehicle. that this painting is an expression of his physical body. There is no inside and outside – no self and the world – all is the world and all is the self.
Is this the art singularity, the true avant-garde, where every mode of expression in painting must be accompanied by a technical innovation.
I wonder if this technique is can only be used by Pollock. Could someone else paint a painting like this and if they were successful would it look like this or would it look different, would it look like the expression of this other painter’s soul. What I am wondering is – is this painting technique like programming – where all end results converge on one truth – one representation.
Pollock they say was inspired by sand paintings of Native Americans.
But Pollock’s technique was much more removed. He was not in contact with the surface of the canvas. This sand painting is much more intimate. I think of the chance operations of people like John Cage. I read this really interesting article about how Pollock’s technique works with the fluid dynamics of the paint. Pollock is sort of an alchemist in this way he is able to manipulate the chemical and material qualities of paint by his body and by the tools he uses to apply the paint.
Pollock’s father was a surveyor and would take young Jackson with him on site which is where he first came into contact with these paintings. I think of the symbols of the unconscious and of more literal symbolic work of Pollock. Like She wolf – a painting of the wolf that suckled Romulus and Remus the mythological founders of Rome (and Siena). This is the literal content of the unconscious. The drip paintings are the actual structure of the unconscious – they are the embodiment of the unconscious.
What are the symbols of my unconscious? What are my sand paintings? What are my surveyor trips? I would write this – but one of my sons wants me to come and watch the olympics