Autumn Rhythm (Number 30). Jackson Pollock 1950 Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY

Autumn Rhythm (Number 30). Jackson Pollock 1950
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY

I think that we are like stars. Something happens to burst us open; but when we burst open and think we are dying; we’re actually turning into a supernova. And then when we look at ourselves again, we see that we’re suddenly more beautiful than we ever were before. 

C. JoyBell **

   Woooooooosh, splatt, waaaaaaah, veeeearaaaam. It’s a mess but it’s beautiful. Pieces that once started out from simple particles can evolve into a collection of our most beautiful moments. When we look up into infinity its endless boundaries are proven with glittering stars. Each twinkle filled with millions of wishes….  Be careful though.. they can only hold so many dreams… too many will cause them to burst. Too many will cause dust to flail and be transported all over fueled with a full force of energy, ending up far in the distance while other pieces take their time, lazily… slowly… trickling into a destructive shattering of stuff. Explosions are a sudden outburst of noise, light, or a violent emotion…¹  The outcome is a great big mess of emotional  madness —or— a beautiful supernovae.

Supernovaes are balls of energy that continue to grow until they can only take one particle more. Once that last particle delicately lands onto the star, the mass of energy dies and does a great big BAAAAANG!!! blasting outward into the world.  Subsidiaries shout in disarray to create new free forming masterful lights in the sky.

Drips and splatters…. no organization what so ever — an anxiety driven technique.  Just like stars, humans can only hold so much before they mentally implode and die (or become depressed). Jackson Pollock’s youth led him to be a depressed adult. He is random, unpredictable and not meticulous. Just as the explosions in space have no borders, his painting Autumn Rhythm (Number 30), designed in 1950, is an endless bleeding  image. Theres a splatter of happiness, one of sadness  or  maybe it is supposed to be a tree branch — I don’t know. In this painting there are no flowers or fields of perfection. Composed from a soul that has been drenched in alcohol. Pollock created a composition of emotion with house paint, cigarette butts and dirt. According to biographies, he does not have much to say, but with one glance at his work you can take a step into his mind. The thing with Autumn Rhythm (Number 30), is that you have to listen. If you react too quickly with immediate instinct you might be kind of repulsed or maybe you’ll love it, I don’t know. But — I  could not have said his feelings better myself. I mean, after all — he’s just telling the truth!! Isn’t one’s truth what makes life interesting? It is an expression of his loud and obnoxious disorder, between his primary consciousness and secondary unconscious. Frankly — it’s his own internal war. He is shouting to us and inviting us to shout back.

My idea is that his painting is a great big beautiful explosion. While he was mentally dying in depression his feelings exploded with anxiety. He didn’t say it, so I can’t put words in his mouth. But from reading his biographies he seemed to have a ton of emotion going back and forth. With old house paint, using colors of black, white tan and other bland pigments he illustrated the tugging, pushing and pulling of his thoughts, a drip there, a footprint here, a cigarette butt there. An internal competition to what? Those feelings of terror when an anxious heart grabs for missing oxygen. Where did it all go? Fishing for an ounce of air while simultaneously pushing away because we know that there really is plenty of it out there. In his painting you can see the madness of confusion streaming through his anxious thoughts. No wonder he wasn’t painting delicate flowers and fineries. How can anyone think clearly with all of that going on in their head? Eventually the friction builds up and BANG!!! Particles of paint fly around, drip and linger and swarm. Letting the dust of exploding passion light up his canvas. As for Jackson’s case, he spent a life full of battling depression and anxiety. Like coffee and cigarettes to some… these two go hand in hand.

Wooooooooosh!! And so, anytime you feel lonely, if no one understands. While you are far away on the the other side of the country from home and sitting outside under the dark canvas of night with tons of thoughts running back, and forth, up, down, and in circles around your brain. Even though you are surrounded by a circle of friendly faces, you still might need someone who will understand. Just look up in the sky — it will calm your nerves to count the stars, there you will see Jackson Pollock’s beautiful light shining back at you through the exploding lights of the supernovas. Enjoy the masterpiece and it will all be okay.


**Quote sent to me from my friend Jeanine

1 Pearsall, Judy. “Definition of Explosion in English.” Explosion: Definition of Explosion in Oxford Dictionary. Oxford University Press, 2013. Web. 03 Sept. 2013. <http://oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/explosion>. __________________________________________________ Inspiration and books read while writing this article:

Isaacson, Walter. Einstein, His Life and Universe. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks. 2007. Paperback

Shaughnessy, Adrian. How to be a Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul. United Kingdom: Laurence King Publishing Ltd. 2005. Paperback

Ferdowsi, Abolqasem  and Davis, Dick. Shahnameh: The Persian Book of Kings.  Mage Publishers. 2004. Paperback


3 responses to “Woooooooooosh!!!!

  1. Is Pollock then your favorite artist?

  2. Excellent observation into the mind of one of this country’s most outstanding artist. Rizzie shows a profound understanding of the tormented artist.

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