What Do Jackson Pollock's Paintings Really Mean? 

What Do Jackson Pollock’s Paintings Really Mean?

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Jackson Pollock did not work to create a pre-conceived painting but instead created a painting filled with emotions and feelings. Because of that, many artists have tried but cannot copy or replicate Jackson Pollock’s work.

Jackson Pollock’s paintings are about human emotion or what is known as action painting. Jackson Pollock’s art is seen to be fully understood, as the art has so many layers and dimensions to the painting. That art will take you to your subconscious as it has no subject matter but is created to convey action and feelings.

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Unraveling the Emotional Depth in Jackson Pollock’s Artwork

Jackson Pollock’s approach to art was not about depicting a premeditated image but rather about channeling raw emotions and feelings onto the canvas. This intrinsic spontaneity in his work makes it a unique and inimitable form of expression.

Known for pioneering the action painting technique, Pollock’s creations transcend traditional subject matter, focusing instead on manifesting human emotions. His paintings, rich in complexity and depth, invite viewers on a journey into their subconscious, offering a multitude of interpretations as they navigate through the layers and dimensions of his art.

This abstract expressionist’s work remains a profound exploration of emotion and action in art.

Jackson Pollock’s Painting
Jackson Pollock’s Painting

Jackson Pollock Want Us To Understand Human Movements

Jackson Pollock’s paintings have an incredible human touch. As you view his paintings, you can almost feel his arms going over the canvas as the paint is dripped layer by layer and color by color. His paintings have an incredible human touch to them because you can almost feel him painting over these paintings.

Pollock created action painting, which is sometimes also known as a gestural abstraction; this is a painting style Pollock created. The painting style emphasizes how the paint is spontaneously dripped, smeared, or splashed onto the canvas.

Jackson Pollock wants you to feel his actions of the paint over the canvas. He used colors, layers, textures, and sometimes even other things as smashed in cigarettes onto the canvas to convey a sense of motion.

You can almost feel Jackson Pollock in this studio with music playing, smoking a cigarette, and throwing paint spontaneously on the canvas.

The result is that the painting’s meaning emphasizes the painting’s physical act or human movement. To view a Jackson Pollock painting, you need to understand that his painting is about his human movement or touch as it went over the canvas area with the paint.

Jackson Pollock
Jackson Pollock

Jackson Pollock’s Art Must Be Seen To Be Understood

To fully understand the meaning behind Jackson Pollock’s art, it is an art that should be seen in person to be fully understood. The reason is because of nature and how his art is created.

When you stand back and view many Jackson Pollock paintings, you may feel the art is mainly black and white. But as you get closer and view it up close, you will see that there’s layer upon layer of different colors. Art that once seemed flat is now very three-dimensional and raised.

One of the unique things about Jackson Pollock’s paintings is how they are viewed from different distances and angles. Two people could go to a museum and view the same Jackson Pollock paintings, but both people will usually see something completely different.

Jackson Pollock’s Art Takes You To The Subconscious

Jackson Pollock’s paintings take the ideas from the popular psychoanalysis of the time. It is all about our sub-conscience that psychoanalysis, as Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung talked about in the early 20th century.

The meaning of Jackson Pollock’s art is to take us to that sub-conscience to see what we see on the canvas. In a sense, what Jackson Pollock is doing with the canvas takes us all on a journey of our subconsciousness as we view his works of art.

Jackson Pollock Drip Painting
Jackson Pollock Drip Painting

Jackson Pollock’s Art Had No Subject, Just Feelings

Jackson Pollock’s art has no subject matter. The meaning is not conveyed in the subject matter but in how the painting makes us feel.

If someone paints a flower, we know it is a flower. But Jackson Pollock’s art is not art that can easily be understood or conveyed in words. The meaning is in the art itself and how the feelings of the art, not in a specific subject matter of the painting.

How To View A Jackson Pollock Painting

If you’re lucky enough to go to one of the many museums with some Jackson Paulette paintings, there are some things you can do to view the painting to get the most out of the experience.

Here are some of our suggestions for viewing Jackson Pollock’s paintings:

Stand Back To View The Painting From A Distance

First, you can stand back to view the painting from a distance. Look at the movement that is in the painting itself. You can almost see the human touch and the movement as Jackson Pollock puts the paint onto the canvas.

Many of his paintings may seem flat and have a few colors, but do not allow that to fool you, as once you get close, you will see another kind of painting.

Get Up Close To The Painting

Next, get up very close to the painting. Can you see all the layers that are on the painting? Can you now see all the dimension that is there? The Jackson Pollock paintings usually have a very different view when looked at from a distance and then looked up close.

Step Back To View The Painting Again

Now, step back and view the painting again. Does the painting look any different to you?. Can you see a little bit of color now coming through the painting? Do you see more dimensions and more layers coming through?

If you are viewing the art with someone else, ask them what they saw? You may find that you both looked at the same painting but saw something different and came out with different feelings and meanings.

Suppose you cannot see a Jackson Pollock painting in person. In that case, we love this short video and explanation by Nicholas Cullinan, a Curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET) in New York City.

How to understand a Jackson Pollock painting | Art, Explained
Jackson Pollock’s Art Explained, The MET

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Jackson Pollock?

Jackson Pollock was an influential American painter and a major figure in the abstract expressionist movement during the mid-20th century.

What is meant by “action painting”?

“Action painting” is a term used to describe Jackson Pollock’s unique artistic style, which involved dripping, pouring, and splattering paint onto a canvas. It emphasized the physical act of painting and the spontaneous expression of emotions.

Why did Jackson Pollock not work with a pre-conceived painting?

Pollock believed in the power of spontaneous expression and the subconscious mind. He wanted to tap into his emotions and feelings in the moment of creation rather than planning or pre-determining the outcome of his paintings.

What makes Jackson Pollock’s work difficult to replicate?

Jackson Pollock’s work is difficult to replicate because it is highly personal and rooted in his unique artistic process. His paintings are filled with complex layers and dimensions that are hard to reproduce authentically.

How does Jackson Pollock’s art convey emotions?

Pollock’s art conveys emotions through the dynamic and energetic nature of his brushwork and the overall composition. The spontaneous gestures and chaotic lines evoke a sense of raw emotion and energy.

What does it mean that Jackson Pollock’s art has no subject matter?

Unlike traditional art that depicts recognizable subjects, Pollock’s art does not have specific subject matter. It is more about the process and the act of painting itself, allowing viewers to interpret and experience the art based on their own emotions and perceptions.

How does Jackson Pollock’s art take you to your subconscious?

Jackson Pollock believed that his art could bypass conscious thought and tap into the viewer’s subconscious mind. The abstract and free-flowing nature of his paintings allows viewers to engage with the artwork on a deeper, subconscious level.

What is the significance of the layers and dimensions in Jackson Pollock’s paintings?

The layers and dimensions in Pollock’s paintings add depth and complexity to the artwork. They create a sense of movement and energy, inviting viewers to explore different levels of the painting and discover new details with each viewing.

What Makes Jackson Pollock’s Art So Valuable?

Jackson Pollock was a brilliant and creative artist who was not afraid to try new techniques with art. He is known for being a founder of Abstract Expressionism and the gestural technique, also known as action painting. He never saw much success in his lifetime, but today his painting fetch millions of dollars and are considered extremely valuable.

By clicking here, you can discover more by reading What Makes Jackson Pollock’s Art So Valuable?.

Did They Use An Original Jackson Pollock Painting In Ex Machina Or A Replica?

They would have used a copy of this painting No 5 (1948) as the painting was sold by David Geffen, a Hollywood producer and film studio executive, for over USD 140 million in 2006. Geffen would have sold the painting long before the movie was produced, and no respectable art collector would place such a valuable work of art on a film set or studio.

By clicking here, you can learn more by reading Did They Use An Original Jackson Pollock Painting In Ex Machina Or A Replica?.

How Much Is The Jackson Pollock Painting Worth In The Movie “The Accountant”?

We do not know precisely how much the Jackson Pollock Free Form painting is worth, but we know that it is owned by the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, and the painting in the movie The Accountant is a reproduction or copy. Similar Jackson Pollock paintings have sold for over $100 million. So we know that Jackson Pollock’s paintings are precious in today’s art market.

By clicking here, you can learn more by reading How Much Is The Jackson Pollock Painting Worth In The Movie “The Accountant”?.

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