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  1. #1
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    POLLOCK and ME

    In 2000, Jackson Pollock(1912-1956) was the subject of an Academy Award–winning film Pollock directed by and starring Ed Harris(1950- ). I watched this film last night in Tasmania, more than ten years later.(1) I won’t give you chapter and verse of the plot, the characters or, indeed, the life-narrative of Jackson Pollock beginning as the film did in the early 1940s, when Pollock was nearly 30, until his death in 1956, by then a world-famous artist in the abstract expressionist movement. I’ll let you read these details for yourself, if you are interested.

    My interest in the film is in Pollock’s alleged (BPD)bipolar disorder,(2) and how this disability played itself out in the volatile personality of this artist’s life and, finally, in his death when I was just entering puberty. I have been afflicted with this same BPD which I have dealt with by medications and not alcohol and sex, a fatal combination in Pollock’s case. I had the steadying hand of a wife, as Pollock did, and a steadying set of values and beliefs which Pollock did not. -Ron Price with thanks to (1) TDT TV, 9 & 10/12/’11, 11:50-2:25 a.m., and (2)Albert Rothenberg, “Bipolar Illness, Creativity, and Treatment,” The Psychiatric Quarterly, Vo. 72, No.2, pp. 131-147.

    Absolutely driven, Jackson:
    wonderful stuff when you
    are in control, on the even
    keel…and not giving in to
    those demons at the edge.1

    I had help from psychiatry
    and you had to do it all by
    yourself…in those archaic
    days before chemotherapy
    and these many new forms
    of talk therapy which came
    into society & my times after
    you died, Jackson. Thank God
    I was a war baby and not one of
    those from what they now call…
    The Greatest Generation.2

    1 Among the many views of Pollock’s work the following from Wikipedia provides a taste. The art critic Clement Greenberg supported Pollock's work on formalistic grounds, that is, he saw Pollock’s work as fitting well into Greenberg’s view of art history as a progressive purification in form and the elimination of historical content. Greenberg therefore saw Pollock's work as the best painting of its day, the 1950s and 1960s. It was, he said, the culmination of the Western tradition going back, via Cubism and Cézanne, to Manet. The critic Robert Coates once derided a number of Pollock’s works as “mere unorganized explosions of random energy, and therefore meaningless.”
    2 The generation born between 1911 to 1924: see a fascinating table of the names ascribed to different generations going back to 1588.

    Ron Price
    10/12/’11

    Last edited by RonPrice; January 29th, 2012 at 08:16 AM. Reason: to add some words
    married for 47 years, a teacher for 32, a student for 18, a writer and editor for 15, and a Baha'i for 55(in 2014).
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  3. #2
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  5. #3
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    Belated thanks for your response, Slothboy3000. The link did not take me anywhere. While here I'll post a little something which may be of interest to some.-Ron
    ------------------------
    INTRODUCTION : TO ART IN MY LIFE

    In primary school in western countries one takes art as part of the curriculum and that was the case with me from 1949 to 1958. The influence of my mother inevitably had some role here, sensibly and insensibly, from my conception in October 1943 until I left home in September 1966. She continued to have an influence in the years from 1966 to her death in 1978, a period when she took a serious interest in and practice of art—leaving me several pieces which I continue to enjoy on the wall of my study. These pieces were sent to me by my mother’s sister after my mother passed away on 1 September 1978. I now have an arch-lever file entitled: The Poetry and Art of Lillian Price in my study.

    In 1966/7 I studied art education as part of my teacher training course and from 1967 to 1971 I taught art as a primary teacher. In 1974 I taught the sociology of art at a technical college and some of my notes from that course are found in my files. Occasionally I went to art galleries and, in the years, 1988 to 1999 I went frequently to the West Australian art gallery with my Tafe students when I worked in downtown Perth right beside that gallery. The art gallery in the city center was next to the large and new public library. These two buildings made for an educational experience both for me and my students. Generally I found art galleries made me sleepy and to this day I rarely go to art galleries for their intellectual and aesthetic stimulus even though my wife often goes to galleries and is involved in a local arts society and has been in this 21st century here in George Town.

    I read a substantial amount about art and some of the notes and photocopies I made over the years are found here. My second wife’s artistic talents and interests also had some effect on the development of my interests in art. The person one marries affects one’s life in a multitude of ways which I won’t go into here. The print and electronic media, as well, brought an exposure to art that enriched my experience over the last 65 years, say, from 1947 to 2012. My first memories are in 1947/8. To describe these influences in any detail is not the role of this introductory outline.

    By September 2003, four years into my retirement, I needed a separate file for my art resources most of which I had collected after my retirement in 1999. Nine years later, by 2012, I had acquired some 80 pieces/articles in my collection of resources. By 2005 I required a two-ring binder entitled Art: Volume 4.1(A, B, and C), and one arch-lever file entitled Art: Volume 4.1(C.1) for the three major sub-sections for my art resources:

    A. Internet Sites/Journals; B.1 Sculpture, B.2 Pornography and Art and B.3 The Bahá’í Faith and Art and C. Other Articles and Notes.

    In 2012 I added a new file Art: Volume 4.1(C.1.1) I am confident, as the years go on, these three files on art will grow. I may even move entirely into online reading and dispense with keeping archival files. Time will tell.

    Ron Price
    28 August 2012

    married for 47 years, a teacher for 32, a student for 18, a writer and editor for 15, and a Baha'i for 55(in 2014).
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