Jackson Pollock – Some Say It’s Not Art

It is only when I lose contact with the painting that the result is a mess. Otherwise there is pure harmony, an easy give and take, and the painting comes out well.

Intro

American painter Jackson Pollock was born in 1912 in Cody, Wyoming and faced the reaper in his Oldsmobile under the influence of alcohol in 1956. At the early phases of his career he was interested in sculpture but decided to focus on painting. Nowadays he’s considered as being the most notable figure in action and drip painting and one of the leading persons in abstract expressionist movement.

Chronology

  • 1912, January the 28th: Paul Jackson Pollock is born. He is the youngest son of Stella May (née McClure) and LeRoy Pollock.
  • 1922: Jackson’s older brother Charles who is working with the Los Angeles Times, starts sending home issues of The Dial, an art magazine from which Jackson gains first knowledge of modern art.
  • 1927: First experiences with alcohol.
  • 1928: At Manual Arts High School (New York), Jackson attends the class of John de St. Vrain Schwandowsky, who introduces him to abstract art and the theosophical teachings of Krishnamurti and Rudolf Steiner.
  • 1928-1929: Works two years with his father and brother Sanford as a geological surveyor in the Grand Canyon, in Arizona and in California.
  • 1929(*): Enrolls the Art Students League and enters painting classes of Thomas Hart Benton. Moves in to New York.
  • 1932: Moves in with his brother Charles and his wife Elizabeth.
  • 1936: Participates in Siqueiros’s workshop Laboratory of Modern Techniques in Art.
  • 1938 through 1941 Pollock underwent Jungian psychotherapy with Dr. Joseph Henderson and later with Dr. Violet Staub de Laszlo in 1941-1942. Henderson engaged him through his art, encouraging Pollock to make drawings. Jungian concepts and archetypes were expressed in his paintings.
  • 1939: First important public appearance. at the MacMillar Gallery  in New York.
  • 1941: Meets Lee Krasner. Watches Navajo artists making sand paintings on the museum floor.
  • 1942: Lee Krasner moves in with him.
  • 1943: Paints one of his most important paintings for Peggy Guggenheims entrance hall. Mural is born (see image below).
  • 1945: Krasner and Pollock are married in 25th of October.
  • 1946: Participates in the Annual Exhibition of Contemporary American Painting at the Whitney Museum. Moves to East Hampton, Long Island with his wife.
  • 1947: Inception of drip paintings.
  • 1948: Pollock is succesfully treated for alcoholism by Dr. Edwin Heller.
  • 1949: Article Jackson Pollock: Is he the greatest living painter in the United States, is published in Life magazine.
  • 1950: Hans Namuth photographs Pollock at work. Relapse into excessive drinking.
  • 1954: Pollock ceases almost entirely to paint.
  • 1956: Pollock has painting nothing in eighteen months and has gained a great deal of weight.
  • 1956, August the 11th: Drunk at the wheel, he loses control of his Oldsmobile, crashes into a tree and dies. One of the two passengers die (Edith Metzger). Pollock’s lover Ruth Kligman survives but is seriously injured.

* Some discrepancies about the years of attending schools. At least Manual Arts School years are different in some bibliographical references.

Selected Work

"Mural" by Jackson Pollock

Mural by Jackson Pollock

Blue Poles (Number 11), 1952 by Jackson Pollock

Blue Poles (Number 11), 1952 by Jackson Pollock

Frieze by Jackson Pollock

Frieze by Jackson Pollock

Untitled (Naked Man with Knife), 1938-1940 by Jackson Pollock

Untitled (Naked Man with Knife), 1938-1940 by Jackson Pollock

Ocean Greyness, 1953 by Jackson Pollock

Ocean Greyness, 1953 by Jackson Pollock

There Were Seven in Eight, 1945 by Jackson Pollock

There Were Seven in Eight, 1945 by Jackson Pollock

Gothic by Jackson Pollock

Gothic by Jackson Pollock

Full Fathom Five, 1947 by Jackson Pollock

Full Fathom Five, 1947 by Jackson Pollock

Number 5, 1948 by Jackson Pollock

Number 5, 1948 by Jackson Pollock

The Deep, 1953 by Jackson Pollock

The Deep, 1953 by Jackson Pollock

Outro

Pollock can be seen as a rough, immediate and impulsive temperament, without the ability to integrate himself in society. Thomas Hart Benton was probably a paternal figure in his life – the connection that may have lacked due to his father’s introvert personality. Pollock eventually fell for alcoholism completely – which instantiated the process of destruction of life that he recreated in the act and the event of painting. Pollock remains a mystery man, who started the american abstract expressionism and invented action painting in a revolutionary way.

Drinking and dripping – Jackson lived up the american bad boy life like Ernest Hemingway. Maybe on purpose, maybe with no other way to deal with his existential emptiness. Nevertheless, his huge floor-painted canvases are amongst the most valued paintings in modern art, selling up to tens and hundreds of millions.

I say it is art.

P.S. Ed Harris does an extremely good job in acting Jackson Pollock in 1990 movie called Pollock. It was a long-time dream project of him. Paintings in the movie are made by Ed Himself!

Bibliography

  • Maailman taide: nykytaide, 1981. Markku Valkonen, Olli Valkonen. ISBN-13: 9789510106198
  • Jackson Pollock: 1912-1956, 2003. Leonhard Emmerling. ISBN-13: 9783822821329
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackson_Pollock
  • Pollock, 1971. Alberto Busignani. ISBN-13: 9780600369141

Design 101: Drawing a House in 15 Minutes

I’ve been lately digging into the common areas of architecture and UX design.

I was just watching a video of Barry Berkus explaining some of his working methods. One interesting method he used was crumbling a piece of paper for ideas. See for yourself (paper trick at 9:45):

Of course I had to try it myself.

Here’s what I came up with — in just 15 minutes!

Crumbled paper

Crumbled paper

End result

End result

Barry had an interesting book made too. Check it out: Architecture/Art/Parallels/Connections

Website 4.awes0me

Feast your eyes on my new site layout.

It’s great.

Right?

Super-interesting content updates expected.

Enjoy!

You Don’t Know How to Use BOLDED Text

Let me give a little hint. Don’t bold useless stuff! Bolding useless phrases or single words doesn’t mean anything – It doesn’t make text easily readable. Bolding is supposed to help the reader, not hold him back.

When you start to learn how to bold only meaningful sentences, the text becomes naturally easier to read. Once you learn it, it’s effortless.

First chapter was poorly bolded – Second perfectly!

Why I’m Never Buying an Android Phone Again.

I’ve been lately super frustrated with Google Play. I can’t seem to find any decent free apps there!

Example #1) Try finding a simple app that helps you to make photo collages: rotate, scale, crop and adjust some relevant things there. It’s an impossible task!

Example #2) Try finding an app that let’s you rotate your original video 90 degs. Yet another IMPOSSIBLE task!

The main problem is that Google Play has very loose filters on what apps can be uploaded to the service. I don’t give a damn if there’s 1M apps if I can’t find a single decent one! As opposed to Apple App Store – it works great! All apps go through a tight moderation and get bounced back if they don’t meet the requirements of App Store.

No need to talk about Windows Phones – they’re mostly a joke on so many levels!

Well, nothing else to say.

How many things are you doing RIGHT now?

Stop overwhelming your brain.

Multitasking is a curse word. If you’re doing 7 things at the same time you’re never doing anything how it’s supposed to be done! Get rid of unwanted distractions if you can: shut down social medias, stop listening music (24/7), don’t eat while you work.

Focusing on one thing at a time is the key to great success. If you find it hard, familiarize yourself with mindfulness!

Trust me! I know what I’m talking about!

My Top 10 Concepts to Live By

Okay, I’m pouring my heart out again. There are a plethora of blog posts from people who have lived in certain positions – say as a nurse for soon-to-be-RIP elders. I think these concepts are not that vague for a person like me either. Everyone of us knows this stuff – you just have to notice it.

Here are some of the basic concepts I (try) to live by.

1. Don’t trust stereotypes

Don’t base your decisions on assumptions or stereotypes – try everything yourself! By trying something yourself you are forming your own opinions that aren’t affected by certain stereotypes (which are usually completely off).

2. It’s your life

You can always ask guidance and advice from other people but you are ultimately the captain of your ship. So go ahead, ask your close ones what they think you should do – just remember to think of them as directions, but not as the path you will take.

3. Pursue your dreams

If you love something – keep doing it. Ultimately you’ll be so good at it that it will reward you somehow.

4. Live healthy

Correct nutrition combined with sports and sleep will give you a head start say in 10 years when compared to people who never did anything good for them. Remember to enjoy life too!

5. Overthinking leads to underachieving

Thinking is a great tool. But overthinking can turn you into a person that isn’t able to make split-second decisions. Trust your instincts.

6. Dialogue is not your monologue

Listening is hard. Sometimes you just feel like you have the greatest story ever and aren’t able to listen what the other person is saying. This isn’t communication – it’s monologue. Listen, learn and be interested in other person’s stories. You might learn something – and your story usually isn’t that great any way.

7. Seize the day

Carpe Diem and YOLO are a bit overused terms. So I’m going for the Dead Poet’s Society’s version – Seize the Day! You usually end up regretting the things you didn’t instead the things you did!

8. Hakuna matata

Don’t you worry – people somehow always manage through their lives. Bad things have a habit of piling up. You might not even notice them sneaking behind your back. Human brain is a wonderful thing – but bad thoughts can have devastating effects.

9. Happiness comes from the inside

External things or events can affect your well-being but people are able to find happiness inside them in various situations. All you need is to switch gears. Ordinary or mundane days and routines may seem like useless moments, but every moment is unique! Clouds in the sky are never the same!

10. Finding new perspectives

You’re not always right. You might think your thoughts are so unique and reasonable – let me tell you. They are not! Seeing the forest from the trees is always a bit of a tricky task – but remember to keep this in your mind.

Hope these thoughts help you through your day! Thanks.

Are you a human DOING instead of human BEING?

Western lifestyle is at crossroads. We have two options. To ruin ourselves or find a way to prosper through listening to ourselves and our bodies.

I’ve been digging into this subject due to personal interest.

What’s it all about?

Well-being of our population is being vanished into thin air. People are medicating themselves with painkillers and antidepressants to be able to handle the stress and the emptiness they are feeling inside. Stress, anxiety and other psychological disorders are increasing constantly. People, especially in westernized countries have turned into walking zombies, human DOINGS instead of human BEINGs.

Human doings all around us. You might be one.

Here’s how to recognise one:

  • Calendar full of stuff, likes to present it to other people
  • “Can’t make it, I have 15 things to do between 5pm and 10pm.
  • Seeking happiness through materialistic means
  • Inability to sit down for even 5 minutes

You know when you meet one.

The Solution?

Luckily there’s some light at the end of a tunnel.

I think we’re standing on the verge. Mindfulness is one of the most promising new things to be included in modern Western medicine. People aren’t afraid to try it, since it is non-religious. I can recommend it! It’s simple yet effective.

Western medicine treats body & mind separately. Luckily the interest towards Eastern medicine is growing, and thereby people are getting interested in Mindfulness, yoga, meditation, soul, purpose of life, etc.

So, now it’ time to take it easy and give yourself some spare time without any disturbations.

Start here with Mindfulness. Honestly, do it.

I could go on about this subject forever, so feel free to ask more.

Thanks! Share!

It’s Your Life – It’s Now or Never

Prelude

Eeva Salmenpohja from SEFE wrote about youngsters’ feeling anxious and scared of their career choices. I know what she’s talking about because I have felt it myself.

For years I wasn’t sure about my career choice (IT). At my most depressing times I thought I would quit studying it and do something different. Things have clarified a bit during the previous years but I still find myself sometimes wondering… Is this really what I want to do? The problem is I like to do lots of different things!

Mostly I am happy about my career choice. I mean… I love internet and the phenomena surrounding it. When I first tried the internet during the 90′s, it was amazing. I wasn’t much more than a toddler++ but it was a nice feeling to access things around the world.

Nowadays I’m using internet A LOT – one thing I am beginning to hate is sedentary job (see my other blog post). I wish I were able to move more! Besides that there really isn’t nothing wrong with working with computers.

What I Do?

Back to topic. I’ve been focusing solely on web UX during the last months. What intrigues me with UX/HCI is that the knowledge doesn’t grow old. Sure thing we’ll get new technologies and yada yada but it just means we’re applying the same underlying rules of human-computer interaction to different media/gadgets.

UX is great, since I can combine lots of my knowledge and apply them on it. Even better, I’m thinking of concentrating towards service design in future. Must be just another step on the way of becoming who I am.

Good & Bad Choices

What I’ve wanted to be? Architect, photographer, cinematographer, artist, doctor, teacher, musician, programmer, journalist, writer… among others.

I sometimes consider art being the ultimate form of expressing yourself – this is the driving force I rely on with my artistic fantasies.

One can always imagine what it would be like to do something else? Could I be happier, wealthier, content? There’s nothing wrong in doing this – but your choices ultimately define what you really are? Here’s a quote to sum up the thought:

There are no choices. Nothing but a straight line. The illusion comes afterwards, when you ask ‘Why me?’ and ‘What if?’ when you look back, see the branches, like a pruned bonsai tree, or a forked lightning. If you had done something differently, it wouldn’t be you, it would be someone else looking back, asking a different set of questions.

Steve Jobs wasn’t stupid either:

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking. Don’t settle.

Quotes and clichés are great – I’ve started to believe that they are the ultimate truth.

When something bums me or I am feeling down I just google for good quotes about the topic and voilà, I’m happier and feeling more confident of what I’m doing.

But going back to the Steve Job’s quote – does this mean I haven’t really found what I love to do? I guess so. Another options is that what I love to do cannot be pointed out precisely. Let’s face it: some people spend their whole lives looking for it.

Take nothing for granted. Carpe Diem instead!

My Advice

If you’re not sure what to do…

  • Keep searching what you like
  • Try new things outside your comfort zone
  • Don’t panic (you’re not the only miserable soul on planet)
  • Don’t multitask too much (stay focused on something and see if you like it)
  • If possible, wreak havoc in your life
  • Every decision you make is right – it’s your life!
  • Stop wallowing in the mire
  • Live for today (try mindfulness!)
  • You’re a fast learner if you’re committed

Ultimately, you have all the knobs and switches in your life – don’t be afraid to pull and rip the control panel apart!

I’ll end this post with yet another quote:

Humans are the only animals that build a cage for themselves

Alright, now I’m off to wreak havoc in my life! CYA!

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