Happy Birthday Jackson Pollock..you sexy man..
Paul Jackson Pollock was born in Cody, Wyoming on 28 January 1912. He was the fifth and youngest son of LeRoy McCoy Pollock and Stella McClure Pollock. The family left Cody when Pollock was less than a year old, and he was raised in Arizona and California. After a series of unsuccessful farming ventures, his father became a surveyor and worked on road crews at the Grand Canyon and elsewhere in the Southwest. Pollock, who sometimes joined his father on these jobs, later remarked that memories of the panoramic landscape influenced his artistic vision.
Even as his art was gaining in assurance and originality, Pollock was experiencing personal turmoil and recurring bouts of depression. He was also struggling to control his alcoholism, which would continue to plague him throughout his life. His brothers Charles and Sande, with whom he shared living quarters at 46 East 8th Street in Manhattan, encouraged him to seek treatment, including psychoanalysis. Although therapy was not successful in curbing Pollock’s drinking or relieving his depression, it introduced him to Jungian concepts that validated the subjective, symbolic direction his art was taking. In late 1941, Sande wrote to Charles, who had left New York, that if Jackson could “hold himself together his work will become of real significance. His painting is abstract, intense, evocative in quality
Pollock’s radical breakthrough was accompanied by a period of sobriety lasting two years, during which he created some of his most beautiful masterpieces. In his barn studio, he spread his canvas on the floor and developed his compositions by working from all four sides, allowing the imagery to evolve spontaneously, without preconceptions. Pollock described this technique as “direct” painting and likened it to American Indian sand painting. He maintained, however, that the method was “a natural growth out of a need,” and that its only importance was as “a means of arriving at a statement.” The character and content of that statement were then and remain controversial, subject to widely varying interpretations–which is why Pollock’s art has retained its vitality in spite of changing tastes.
By 1955, however, Pollock’s personal demons had triumphed over his artistic drive, and he stopped painting altogether. Ironically, his work had begun to earn a respectable income for him and Krasner, who was becoming increasingly estranged from her troubled, alcoholic husband. In the summer of 1956 she took the opportunity of a trip to Europe to re-evaluate their relationship, while Pollock remained at home with a young mistress to distract him from the agonies of self-doubt and inaction that plagued him. In Paris, on the morning of 12 August, Krasner received a telephone call informing her that Pollock had died the night before in an automobile accident. Driving drunk, he had overturned his convertible, killing himself and an acquaintance and seriously injuring his other passenger.