Artist: Jackson Pollock
Style: Abstract Expressionism
Jackson Pollock's work has been seen as the epitome of freedom. Yet with all this great tumult, there is form. Look at the way the painting is held together by the four corners; there are black masses in each corner that contain everything in the painting, while the motion within is still pushing out. Look at the vertical shape Jackson Pollock has made at the far left-almost a column composed of black paint and the space of the canvas. Our eyes go from left to right across the canvas and follow the shapes of the large curves. Our eyes are also taken across the canvas by a diagonal that begins at the lower left-hand corner and goes through the center to the upper right. There is a tightness and expansion, exactitude and width in the actions of the paint. Jackson Pollock's Number One shows we don't have to shuttle back and forth between order and freedom-in this painting they are one. Throughout the painting, there are tiny, thick drips of brighter colors-red, yellow, orange and blue. There is a red dot just right of the center of the painting. I remember cynically thinking before studying Aesthetic Realism, I was just a small dot in a vast, confusing world. But I also felt, like this dot, I was the one bright point in my family's life. Aesthetic Realism taught me that the world outside of me is deeply my friend because it has an aesthetic structure we can honestly see as beautiful.