Has Jackson Pollock lost his power?

1953 Jackson Pollock and 1993 Chuck McElroy

A selection of poem, “The New York School” by Joseph Bradshaw

I can’t remember anything about the movie Pollock. I wish a bald Sigourney Weaver played the part of Jackson Pollock. That would make the film more memorable. I wish every Jackson Pollock was secretly a portrait of Sigourney Weaver in Aliens and you could smell in Pollock’s paintings what you imagine Weaver’s skin smells like and Jackson Pollock got the best lot of the Cedar Tavern coterie, his paintings sell for millions and his alcoholism and creativity have been mythologized, but then that’s it, his actual paintings no longer exist, you can’t see them in a space that doesn’t humiliate and demoralize the viewer through cynical displays of institutional power. A Pollock hung in the Met may as well be an oversized cock made of real gold which pisses counterfeit money on anyone who stands within eight feet of it while earning less than $500,000 a year. I always liked Robert Rauschenberg more. (via Elective Affinities, via Raul Rafael Alvarez)

Am I correctly interpreting the poem? Pollock’s paintings were powerful back in the day because they were subversive. His paintings were about paint, drips, abstractness. Rebelling against the notion that paintings must have a subject matter.

But now we are used to a Jackson Pollock painting. They don’t have the impact anymore. What is now the value is Pollock’s mythology. Not his paintings. The paintings are mere relics of the myth. If this is true, does this connect to my blog post last week about what true value does art have if you strip away its place in history and culture.

At least Pollock’s paintings are still THE supreme example of how to make a drip painting.

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