year later, Pollock's artistic style was captured for posterity
on film. By then, the public spotlight had reached unbearable
brightness and Pollock descended into self-destructive alcoholism.
The filming is seen by many as the day on which his downward
spiral began. Pollock's story ended after a drunken binge
in August 1956, when he died in a high-speed car-crash.
He died with only $350 to his name.
from the commercialism and mythology, what meaning do Pollock's
swirling patterns of paint really have and what was his
role in generating them? Art theorists now recognise his
patterns as a revolutionary approach to aesthetics. In
an era characterised by radical advances in art, his work
is seen as a crucial development. However, despite the
millions of words written on Pollock, the precise quality
which defines his unique patterns never has been identified.
More generally, although abstract art is hailed as a modern
way of portraying life, the public remains unclear about
how a painting such as Blue Poles shows anything
obvious about the world they live in.
one thing which is agreed upon is that Pollock's motivations
and achievements were vastly different from those associated
with traditional artistic composition. His drip paintings
eliminated anything that previously might have been recognised
as 'composition'; the idea of having a top and bottom, of
having a left and right, and of having a centre of focus.
Pollock's defence was that he had adopted a "direct"
approach to the expression of the world around him, concluding
that "the modern painter cannot express this age, the
airplane, the atom bomb, the radio, in the old form of the
Renaissance, each age finds its own technique."