Making A Start

February 28, 2014 at 1:59 am Leave a comment


How do you start a document?

The white space is pretty intimidating.

This applies to both a document and a painting.

The painter Jackson Pollock was commissioned by Peggy Guggenheim to create a mural for her house.

Pollock signed a gallery contract with Guggenheim in July 1943. The terms were $150 a month and a settlement at the end of the year if his paintings sold. He intended to have the mural done by the time for his show in November. However, as the time aproached, the canvas for the mural was untouched. Guggenheim began to pressure him. Pollock spent weeks staring at the blank canvas, complaining to friends that he was “blocked,” and seeming to become both obsessed and depressed. Finally, according to all reports, he painted the entire canvas in one frenetic burst of energy around New Year’s Day of 1944—although the painting bears the date 1943. Pollock told a friend years afterward that he had had a vision: “It was a stampede…[of] every animal in the American West, cows and horses and antelopes and buffaloes. Everything is charging across that goddamn surface.” Pollock’s “vision” may have been a memory from his childhood in the American West. While there is some suggestion of figuration within Mural, its overall impact is that of abstraction and freedom from the restrictions imposed by figures.

So, how did Pollock break the tyranny of space?

Look carefully at the canvas.

Do you see the word Pollock?

Sometimes you just have to make a start.

Anything will do. Just type something. Once you have made a start, then you have made the biggest step.



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