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Million-dollar floor

November 2, 2006

I like to believe that I’m pretty clever.  After all, I can make sense of the physical sciences and even write recognizable HTML code.  Once I used a part from a long-dead centrifuge to fix a broken tennis racket stringing machine (don’t ask).

But I am way too stupid to begin to fathom how a painting by Jackson Pollock could possibly be worth $140 million dollars

The Pollock work features the US artist’s famous drip-and-pour style…

Ooh!  Drip and pour style!  Isn’t that a coffeemaker?

Jackson Pollock’s work had a major influence on art in the latter half of the 20th Century, sparking the emergence of abstract expressionism.

But the artist battled alcoholism and depression and is generally regarded as a self-destructive, tortured genius. He died in a car crash in 1956, aged 44.  (BBC News Online)

I can see abstract expressionism anytime I want a cup of coffee.  In fact, I can walk on it…

If Pollock’s painting “No. 5” really is worth $140 Mil, then this floor from The Coffee House at 114 East Beaufort St. in Normal, Illinois, must be worth at least a million.  Just look at it!  Such line, such form!  Genius!  And much bigger than Pollock’s little creative dribblings.

Any takers?

Categories: Art
  1. November 3, 2006 at 03:42 | #1

    I think I am also WAY TOO STUPID to pick up on that, DoF.

  2. November 3, 2006 at 11:48 | #2

    Sorry, my art appreciation gene never developed.

  3. SW
    November 6, 2006 at 12:48 | #3

    I couldn’t agree more with you.  I am painfully in the process of giving up on my 23-year attempt at making a living at my art because I can’t sell enough $100 to $1000 pieces of my original work; it breaks my heart every time I read a story like this, especially since I’d be happy with $30-40K per year.
    What I believe is that the value of Pollock has absolutely nothing to do with the quality or appeal of his product; it’s the image of the man that’s blown all out of proportion.  Just look at what Cristo and Jean-Claude did last year in Central Park with the orange fabric “gates” and tell me if that was talent or simply they’ve learned to con the masses with a bit of showmanship and good marketing.  It all makes me so sad.

  4. SW
    November 6, 2006 at 12:49 | #4

    that should have been Central Park not Part

  5. November 6, 2006 at 12:55 | #5

    SW, I can only imagine how painful that must be.  You have my sympathy.  Superstars are not necessarily – or even probably – better artists, they are just better at promotion.

    This is true in music as in visual arts.  Before the days of mass promotion and distribution of recorded music, local musicians could earn a good living.

    I hope you will continue to make art even if it is not how you make a living.

  6. SW
    November 6, 2006 at 13:14 | #6

    Yes, I agree with you about music as well, except that many people do still wish to see live performances, and people do go back again and again to see the same performer.
    I chose the worst type of art to do (painting). People run out of wall space; technology and world trade have made too much cheap art available; and people don’t buy art as gifts very often.
    Well, it was a good run, and it allowed me to live in beautiful Minnesota. for at least a while.  We’ll see what’s next.
    Thanks for your kind words.

  7. November 6, 2006 at 22:00 | #7

    I have a theory: I think Pollock developed his art form while attempting to become a Foley artist. One day he was screwing around and tried to get various substances to sound out his last name.

  8. November 6, 2006 at 22:06 | #8

    btw: That work deserves a better title than “No. 5”. I vote for “Brillo Ballet in the Sink Drain”

  9. November 6, 2006 at 23:01 | #9

    Hmm, excellent idea – the painting is a lot more fun as a caption contest.  How about “Food Fight Aftermath?” 

    I hope somebody will stop by and explain this painting to us in very serious, academic tones. ;-)

  10. zilch
    November 9, 2006 at 11:39 | #10

    Well, DoF, you simply have to define “worth” the same way Clinton defined “is”.  What does it mean to say that the 1856 one-cent “Black on Magenta” stamp of British Guiana is “worth” a million bucks?  Or in my field: is the Lady Tennant Stradivarius violin really “worth” more than $2 million?  What you’re paying for is not the object, but the glamour, the legend, and the concomitant investment value.

  11. Tee
    November 19, 2006 at 08:13 | #11

    Mrs.DoF pointed me your way again.

    In a post I mentioned Picasso’s “The Dog” – and I have been a vocal critic of Pollack since high school. LOL. My art teacher and I used to have heated arguments. One time I scribbled all over a paper and handed it to her. If Pollack is good enough for her than I don’t need to make an effort in the class. ;)

    Very frustrating for other artists to see something like this praised and bring in that kind of money. Ridiculous.

    Someone can come in here and speak about the piece’s academic merit until they’re blue in the face. My opinion is that if my 5 yr. old can re-create it, it shouldn’t be famous in the first place.

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