<<Note from Moonbear: I've separated this from the urinal thread since it seems to have become a discussion all it's own. I couldn't resist the title. >> Jackson Pollock's work was brilliant. Art from that era looks inexplicable to people like Evo, but there is method in the madness. Artists were working under a set of increasingly tighter set of parameters the harshest of which was that nothing could be representational and the second harshest of which was that you couldn't imitate the previous movement. Pollock's anser was brilliantly creative: he decided to explore the effects, not of brush strokes but of dripping and splattering the paint onto the canvass. You may think that "anyone could do that", but, in fact, Pollock was the only one who thought of it at precisely that point in the Game of Art when it constituted the most brilliant next move in a competition of out-of-the-box thinking under increasingly restricted options. Given all that, his work is even more: it has the pure visual appeal of intricate texture and color. The dynamics of drips and splashes are, it turns out, extremely visually interesting, and presented formally for examination allows the viewer to appreciate that. Paint is explored both as a medium for pigment and for it's inherently liquid properties: he brings attention to paint as paint and not for it's ability to be forced to resemble something else. Stripped of the option of straighforward realism by the oppressive memes started by the dadaists in the early 20th century (Realism has been mastered. Everything that can possibly be done has already been done: Art Is Dead) Pollock and his contemporaries, each in their own way, took heroic measures to figure out ways to prove it all had not been done: you could, for instance, make a painting about paint itself, the drippy, liquid, splattery qualities are what his works are about; they are the subject: the lines, forms, rhythms, colors, and textures of dripped paint, itself. Like everything, it's nowhere near as mindless as you think. Confronted with a huge piece of canvass and ten colors of paint, you would suddenly realize that there are multitudes of decisions to make about how you drip and spatter it, and that no two people will make the same decisions. You'd quickly become aware that a certain kind of drip or spatter is much more interesting, and that certain groupings are vastly more dynamic than others. You'd start to realize that each layer of new color you add has changed what was there before, perhaps enhanced, or perhaps ruined the effect, and you'd store that information away for the next time, slowly acquiring a repertoire of effects and a procedure by which to achieve them. The fine art audience of Pollock's day was well aware of the restrictions and pressures on anyone seeking to be a serious player in the art game of that time: nothing conventional that appeals to obvious sensibilities is allowed, and Pollock is remembered today for the exceptionally creative, unexpected move he made in that game.