Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Who the #$&% is Jackson Pollock?

I just watched Who the #$&% is Jackson Pollock? The documentary traces the experience of Teri Horton, a truck driver from California, who purchased a painting of questionable origin at a thrift store. Because of its similarity to Jackson Pollock's painting technique, Horton has sought for many years to authenticate and sell the piece against staggering odds. Though glamorous and erudite, the art world comes across as decidedly pompous and condescending to the average citizen.

Just about all of the professional art dealers and historians agreed that this painting was not a Jackson Pollock, but Horton was stubborn. She even hired a forensic analyst to authenticate paint samples from the painting compared with paint found on the floor in Pollock's studio. And perhaps most convincing of all, the analyst claims to have identified a fingerprint on the back of the canvas as Pollock's own, as compared with one found on an authentic Pollock painting. Whatever you believe, this film interestingly examines the rift between the Average Joe and the intellectual elite.

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