Thursday, October 15, 2015


Hans Namuth photograph of Jackson Pollock, 1950

Hans Namuth photograph of Jackson Pollock, 1950

Hans Namuth photograph of Jackson Pollock, 1950

It was a stunning fall day; the type of day which makes you feel guilty for doing anything but frolicking outdoors.  I'd been wanting to do an action painting project for a while, and with a visit to the Pollock Krasner House & Study Center upcoming, it was time to make something to wear.  After looking through countless photographs of Jackson Pollock creating his drip paintings (most of them taken by Hans Namuth ca. 1950), I was ready to embark on my own paint-flinging experience.

First, I found a dress at the thrift store in a thick cotton fabric which resembled canvas.  I used an old sheet as a dropcloth, and spent some time mixing acrylic paint to the right consistency.  (Pollock used house paint.)  Then I took everything up to the roof of my building, set up my camera and tripod, and went to work.

I used one of Pollock's most famous paintings, Number 1, 1950 (Lavender Mist), as my inspiration, and created multiple layers of black, some white, and a lavender color.  I waited for each color to dry in between layers so they wouldn't mix and become muddy.

Overall, it was an extremely fun project and a great stress reliever!  I left the back of the dress unfinished, because some of the paint bled through and it reminded me of what the back of a painting would really look like.

On a side note, I've had great difficulty finding out how to attribute Namuth's photographs of Pollock.  It seems that many of them are courtesy of the Namuth Estate, and most are copyrighted 1950.

Photos by me; Pollock photos from various sources, all courtesy of the Hans Namuth Estate.


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