The Marvelous Life of Jackson Pollock

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Jackson Pollock was a well-known modern artist who was born in 1912 in the state of Wyoming. Although he lived a short life he lived a pretty good one. Before his fast and intense death in 1956 he created the “Drip” method in painting, studied mural painting, and had many influences. On January 28, 1912, a baby boy was born into the world to LeRoy Pollock and Stella May McClure. The 12 pound, 4-ounce baby entered their life in Cody, Wyoming. Paul Jackson Pollock was born into the Pollock household as the youngest out of five children. While spending most of his childhood with a father who abused alcohol, who later left him at the age of eight, his family and him would travel around the West to parts of Arizona and California. Even though he was going back and forth between states, he attended Manual Arts Senior High School in Los Angeles, California. At the age of 18, Jackson would pack up and move to New York City with his brother, Charles Pollock. Jackson fell in love with another artist with the name of Leonor Krasner (Lee). Lee and Jackson tied the knot on October 25, 1945 in New York City. Their marriage headed on a downhill slope in 1956, when Jackson had an affair with Ruth Kilgman and was struggling with an alcohol addiction. Lee left Jackson and went to visit friends in Europe, but returned promptly when Jackson was killed in a one vehicle accident. While Lee was away in Europe, Jackson was still in New York City living in the farm house they shared. Jackson’s struggle with addiction did not dwindle away, and on August 11, 1956 just after 10 p.m., he was killed in a one vehicle accident near East Hampton, New York, where Jackson was intoxicated. Two other passengers were in the car with him, Ruth Kligman and Edith Metzger. Edith and Jackson were killed but, Ruth was lucky enough to survive the gruesome accident.

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As a child Jackson had many famous artists that inspired his art. Some of his influences were, Pablo Picasso, Wassily Kandinsky, Joan Miró, and Jose Clemente Orozco. In 1930, Jackson and his brother Charles packed their bags and set off for New York City, where they would study together. The brothers had their eyes set on a certain art school where they wanted to study at, Art Students League. During their time at the Art Students League, the two boys studied under a man named, Thomas Hart Benton. Throughout the 1940’s, Jackson studied mural painting, and watched many different people paint. A few of the people he shadowed were, Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros. Finally, in 1943, Jackson got the opportunity to show off what he learned while shadowing muralists when Peggy Guggenheim commissioned him to paint a mural for her small town.

In 1947 Jackson created the method that would bring him much fame. The drip method was created by Jackson, and he used the method up until 1950, at the height of his career. The genre of art that Jackson primarily worked in was Abstract Expressionism. Although his main type of art was painting, towards the end of his life he started working with Tony Smith, where he started sculpting with a bunch of different materials. Some of the different materials were plaster, wire, and gauze.

As you can see, Paul Jackson Pollock had a pretty eventful life. He was born as a big baby in Cody, Wyoming to his parents, LeRoy and Stella. He then moved his life to the other side of the country with his brother, where he met his wife, Leonor Krasner. Later in his marriage with Leonor, he started to struggle with alcohol addiction, and was cheating on his wife with another woman. He was known as an Abstract Expressionist, and created the drip method. Towards the end of his life he completely switched gears and started to create sculptures. His tragic death in 1956 caused a bunch of people pain because they knew he had great potential, but he was stopped short due to the accident.

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