Saturday, November 04, 2006

I Deny the Accident

Today, in my studio, looking down at my drop-sheet, I thought of Jackson Pollock. I say this with no disrespect towards Pollock or his work, but rather credit to my imagination. I then remembered seeing the film Pollock in 2002, which subsequently brought back many other memories of that time.

It was October, 2002. It was a crazy time in my life. Dark even. I'd recently ended a 5 year relationship, was working long hours managing a high profile art gallery, and carrying the stresses that went along with it, drinking copious amounts of red wine - (perhaps to help with the level of 'cope', but it ultimately hindered)... It was an emotional roller coaster but certainly a period of great significance in my life, particularly my life as an artist. It was a turning point.

"I deny the accident" is the line I will always remember from that film. At the time I saw it as the perfect statement for an artist. I remember coming home that night and writing in my diary.

Thurs. 31st October, 2002. 9:18pm
The film Pollock inspired me, depressed me and entertained me. Ed Harris was great, Marcia Gay Harden was brilliant, her performance moved me. I saw myself in both of the characters: the woman who puts her life on hold to encourage another, providing inspiration, strength... and the artist who continues on a (self) destructive path. Self obsessed when it comes to one's art, (but aren't we all?), one's own worst enemy and toughest critic, worried about how the world will react to the work, too passionate about the work to even consider changing. Feeling misunderstood, drinking to drown, the foetal position, the frustration, the intensity, the sensitivity. Starving for affection, the affairs, the highs, the disappointment, the realisation and the remorse. The passion. The desire to create.

Five days after seeing the film I flew to Canberra to see the Jackson Pollock exhibition, which was showing along with The Big Americans, at the National Gallery of Australia. I'd never considered myself a fan of Pollock's work, and despite being subjected to a multitude of criticism about him and his work, I was not a non-fan either. Regardless, that day I sat in front of Pollock's Blue Poles for a long time.

47 days later I left my job to further pursue my artistic dream and focus solely on being an artist.

1 comment:

Clouth said...

The last time I saw a Pollock (I think the one he did for Guggenheim) the person I was with said it looked like someone painted it while listening to a really bad jam band. She was right. But I told her that she should also put it in its context. Even the splatter paintings, which I don't personally care for HAD to be done by someone at some point just like minimalism had to happen (and unfortunately is still happening).
"I deny the accident" is an interesting statement. Does it mean that his splatter-work was in no way accidental?
What do YOU think it means?