[Fucking] Art History: Jackson Pollock

[Fucking] Art History is a weekly series that posts every other Friday. The purpose of this series is to put modern day sex toys and art from present day and throughout history in oppositional and complimentary relationships.  Sex toys can be art, too. Check the category for more from this series.

Jackson Pollock was, reportedly, not the easiest person to get along with. An eccentric and reclusive artist who struggled with alcoholism throughout his life, he kept at least one mistress while married artist Lee Krasner, and it is theorized he suffered from bipolar disorder. He can be added to a long list of creatives who suffered from social, mental, and substance abuse issues who are revered, in part for these aspects of their life.

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Pollock died at the age of 44 in a single vehicle accident where he was under the influence of alcohol; his mistress, Ruth Kligman, and her friend were in the vehicle at the time of the accident and only Ruth survived.

Detail from Jackson Pollock's "Number 8, 1949" You can learn more here.

Detail from Jackson Pollock's "Number 8, 1949" You can learn more here.

While Jackson’s life was tragic and I definitely do not condone the cult worship of tragic artistry, his art was and still is impactful: the experience of seeing a Pollock in person and up close is moving, even for this lover of realism. The layers, the dynamism, and imagining Pollock in his studio in perpetual action with sticks, hardened brushes, and turkey basters splattering enamel house paint is awe-inspiring.

I have always meant to visit the Springs, NY studio where he lived with Lee Krasner and created this technique, stretching canvas out on the floor and moving and swaying until things looked right to him. I grew up not far away, where I first watched the his biopic (which portrays him as a womanizer and all around distasteful, if complicated, person) in an advanced Art History course during high school.

I plan on visiting next time I’m in the area, donning specialized paper boots to go over my shoes, and walking all over the art left on the floor of his studio; built up layered remnants of his time there.

After his death, his wife took over the estate and devoted herself to keeping Jackson and his work relevant. Regardless of what may have happened between them during their marriage, she remained devoted to his work. He was buried with a large boulder over his grave, and Lee Krasner was buried nearby, a smaller boulder commemorating her life. A sad testimonial to their differing impacts as artists, and her quiet devotion.

My sex toy pairing with Pollock is fairly predictable: the BS Atelier Alex Noise is created by splattering and dripping layers of different colored silicone in a mold before filling with the base color. These and other products from this awesome small company in Madrid are beautiful, unique, hand made artwork. You can click on either of the images above to buy their products.