For centuries artist along with society have placed an emphasis on meaning in a piece of art. Art has always consisted of subject matters, motifs and other pre-concieved ideas or thoughts about what one should use as their focal point in a work of art. The very definition of art though, is an appealing or attractive object created through any of the fine arts. Nowhere does it say that a work of art must have a concentration point. Not until the advent of abstract expressionism was the idea of painting from the unconscious,1 brought into the art scene.
This movement typically saw artist rapidly slinging, slapping and dripping paint onto large canvases with no emphasis on subject matters but rather spontaneity. Jackson Pollock who has been deemed the greatest american painter was one of the pioneers of this artistic movement. Pollock, the first painter to pour paint on the canvas with brushes instead of using brush strokes to apply it, circled his canvases which were placed across the floor, controlling the flow of the paint in a very rythmic matter.
The project which I have created was based upon the stylistic nature of Jackson Pollock’s work. The freedom of this form of abstraction allows the creator to work freely without worry of making mistakes or even the inability to convey a specific message to the viewer. Pollock’s influence upon my work runs strictly in the process itself. Being an athlete, action is the key to a performance. Whether its throwing a ball or swinging a bat, the relationship in the physical nature of Pollock’s process holds many similarities to the physical aspect of a sport. This relationship is what’s so appealing to me. Other forms of art confine you to standing in front of an easle or sitting at a desk. Pollocks process on the other hand, allowed him to freely move around the painting while gracefully and sometimes rigorously applying his paint. Just like in sports, you have a general idea of how you want to perform but you don’t always have control over the results. Abstract expressionism allows the creator the ability to have a general notion of what he or she wants to create but the final product may come out altered from the original idea.
In my work the similarities to the works of Pollock run in the process itself. I worked from all angles of the page, spattering ink from an inkwell. This allowed me to control the flow of the ink, along with the placement of it upon the page. The differences in my piece are what it mainly possesses. Scale is probably the most noticeable. Pollock worked on a much larger scale, usually nearing the ten feet mark. Another big difference was the media used. Pollock used buckets of freeflowing paint, whereas I used ink from an inkwell. Also, Pollocks paintings were flowing lines of paint. Although my piece also can be seen as flowing, mine is a broken flow. I know this sounds like a contradiction but the spaces between the drops slightly breaks the even flow of a line. Your eye can still follow the flow of the drops even though your eye notices the spacing in
between the bloches of ink. I had a lot of fun with the process of this project. I had no worries about how the piece would come out only of what my grandmother would say when she saw the ink i used all over the garage floor. Through this project, i learned that creativity does not always have to be planned, but rather can be born by the process in which you are working.
Pollock said it best in his interview with William Wright, I think they(the audience)should not look for, but look passivelyand try to recieve what the painting has to offer and not bring a subject matter or preconceived idea of what they are to be looking for.2 In my mind, this form of art is can be best described as eye-candy for the viewer. This allows the audience to base its judgement souley upon the visual, instead of the conceptual.Our everyday lives challenge us with enough intellectual stimuli. Art should bring us to a place where thought can be put to the side, and a work of art can act strictly upon our visual insights and emotions.