Who the #$&% is Jackson Pollock – Review

Posted: November 13, 2012 in Fund. Visual Literacy

Teri Horton went to a thrift store one day to get a present for her friend and saw this ugly painting for sale. Originally for $8, she talked the owner down to $5 for what she saw as an ugly piece of work. Later, at a garage sale trying to get rid of the thing an art teacher tells them she thinks what they were trying to get rid of could possibly be an authentic Jackson Pollock. All Teri Horton could think was “Who the #$&% is Jackson Pollock?”. The thought of having bought a painting possibly worth millions for only $5 is something I personally do not know how I could handle. There is pressure behind finding the truth behind the painting and whether it really is worth the millions it could be.

During the film “Who the #$&% is Jackson Pollock?” the filmmaker compares Teri Horton and Jackson Pollock in different ways. Teri Horton is a very headstrong woman who has a determination and belief in her chances of the painting being an authentic Jackson Pollock. I understand where her determination comes from. In the beginning she tries to get people in the art world to just consider the idea of a Jackson Pollock showing up in a thrift store and to look at the painting. As a 73-year-old during the filming she is very passionately in her quest to prove the painting is real. If the art world would have taken her serious from the beginning and humored her by sending someone to examine the painting, this film could possibly have never been made. Her passion and determination came from being turned down so fast. She admits to not knowing a lot about the art world, but she was told her painting could possibly be a Jackson Pollock and she just wanted to have it looked into. Being turned down only made it a requirement to find the truth.

The experts who finally did look into the matter of whether this $5 thrift store painting could be an authentic Jackson Pollock worth millions, varied in what they believed. Thomas Hoving, former director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and art connoisseur, examined the painting. Then and still he believes the painting to be a fake for different reasons, from the type of canvas to the amount of acrylic paint used. Montreal-based forensic art expert, Peter Paul Biro, used his forensic skills to find a fingerprint match though Jackson Pollock was never fingerprinted during his life. I am not an expert on Jackson Pollock paintings so I cannot say whether the painting is real or fake. I could not help but feel for Teri Horton as the film progressed and wanted to believe the painting is real. I may not know myself whether the painting is real, but I believe in her determination and passion.


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