Paul Jackson Pollock was born on 28 January 1912 in Cody, Wyoming. He was the fifth and youngest son of LeRoy and Stella McClure Pollock. When Pollock was less than a year old his family moved to Arizona and later on to California.

While in High School in Los Angeles, Pollock was encouraged to pursue his interest in art. Two of his brothers were also aspiring artists, so Charles, the eldest, went to New York to study with the Regionalist painter Thomas Hart Benton at the Art Students League, and he asked Jackson to join him.

Jackson, who dropped his first name, began to study drawing and composition in 1929 at the Art Students League. During the 1930's he worked in the style of the Regionalists, being influenced also by certain aspects of Surrealism and the Mexican muralist painters (Orozco, Rivera, Siqueiros), which inspired Pollack to paint large scale works of his own.

Pollock attended a group exhibition of work by French and American painters, including Picasso and Matisse. It was there that he met his wife Lenore Krassner, later known as the artist Lee Krasner.

By the mid 1940's he was painting in a completely abstract manner, and the `drip and splash' style for which he is best known emerged in 1947. Instead of using an easel, he affixed his canvas to the floor or the wall and poured and dripped his paint from a can. Instead of using brushes he used sticks, trowels or knives, sometimes obtaining a heavy impasto by adding sand, broken glass or other foreign matter. This way of action painting was supposed to be a direct expression of the unconscious moods of the artist.

In 1945 he moved to The Springs, near East Hampton, Long Island. This property, now the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center, would be Pollock's home for the rest of his life and the site of his most innovative and influential work.

Soon after establishing his studio in the country, the colors he used became bright and his compositions opened up and his imagination showed a new awareness to nature. Here he began the spontaneous pouring technique for which he became famous.

In his barn studio, he spread his canvas on the floor and developed his compositions by working from all four sides, allowing the artwork to evolve spontaneously, without preconceptions. The design of his painting had no relation to the shape or size of the canvas, sometimes he even trimmed the canvas to suit the image. 

The artwork remain controversial, subject to wide interpretations, until 1951, when Pollock abandoned non-objective art in favor of abstracted art. 

"When you're working out of your unconscious," he explained, "figures are bound to emerge." He also gave up color to create a series of stark black paintings. He died in a car accident on August 12, 1956.

THE MOON WOMAN – This painting shows the passionate intensity with which Pollock pursued his inner vision. This painting is based on a North American Indian myth. It connects the moon with the female psyche and shows its creative power. We can clearly see Pollock was influenced by Picasso and Miro. It is not easy to explain abstract art but we can appreciate the fusion of colors, the vibrant powerful face rising before us.


 
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