Dripped: An Homage To Jackson Pollock

I was never really a Jackson Pollock fan before seeing the Ed Harris film about his life. I just never understood what the work meant or what Pollock was trying to say. Even after seeing the film, it wasn’t just the work; it was Harris’ masterful portrayal of the enigmatic painter. He brilliantly captured the broad strokes as well as the nuances of Pollock’s personality – conveying the emotions of what the artist was going through as he struggled to “break through” and find his voice. While the entire film is terrific, there are two pivotal scenes – in my opinion – that capture both the frustration and the salvation (or perhaps redemption) of Pollock at work. The first shows Pollock painting Mural, which was commissioned by Peggy Guggenheim in 1943. After weeks of brooding over the commission, Pollock experiences an “a ha” moment and attacks the canvas in what is just as much a dance as a painter at work. The second is the birth of the “drip paintings.” Pollock (Harris) is at work in his studio and inadvertently drips paint onto the floor beside a canvas he was working on. It was a moment of serendipity; a happy accident that changed his life – and the art world – forever.

In stark contrast to the drama of Pollock is the terrific animated short Dripped – a whimsical, alternative look at what inspired Pollock to make his famous paintings. Directed by Léo Verrier, the visual style is fantastic and the jazz-infused musical score makes it feel like a Catch Me If You Can take on a classic noir “whodunnit” film.

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