Thursday, September 01, 2011

1609 - Who the #$&% is Jackson Pollock?

When the opening interview of a documentary starts with:
Fairy tales begin with 'Once Upon a Time...'  But when a trucker tells you a story, it begins with 'You ain't gonna believe this shit!'
Then you know you're in for a treat.  We tried to see this at TIFF but the fates did not align - instead we saw a wonderful documentary called My Kid Could Paint That (really great - check it out!)

So this documentary is about a woman who believes she has found a Jackson Pollock painting that, if real, could be worth in the neighborhood of fifty million dollars.  And she's not willing to settle for anything less.  Because there is no traditional way to authenticate the painting, and because Pollock "experts" refuse to accept it, she relies on going to a world renowned forensic guy who specializes in art.  This man, after much searching, actually finds the kind of evidence where "If this were a murder trial, the subject would be guilty without question".  But for unexplained reasons (outside of tradition) the art world does not recognize forensic evidence.  Probably because it means that they could be right or wrong and something like that would just absolutely shatter a community that is based on opinion.  Fact is an ugly word when it comes to art.
This is a nice little flick (on netflix), and it's fun and informative about the art world - if you like this you should also check out Steve Martin's newest book An Object of Beauty which discusses similar themes. 
Who the #$&% Is Jackson Pollock?

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