16 Interesting Facts about Jackson Pollock

1) His original first name was Paul.

2) Pollock once had a job cleaning statues for the Emergency Relief Bureau. He also briefly worked as a janitor with his brother, Sanford, at a children’s school where their eldest brother, Charles, taught.

3) Jackson Pollock wasn’t a very good pupil at school. He got expelled from two high schools and in 1930 he decided to live with his brother in New York.

4) He once knocked down a wall to make a room large enough for a 20-foot canvas.

5) In the summer of 1938, Pollock had a nervous breakdown, which left him in a psychiatric care unit for a few months.

6) In the late 1930s, Pollock filled several notebooks with sketches of Picasso’s Guernica.

7) In 1941, Pollock was declared unfit for military service.

8) During the 1930s, Pollock occasionally stole food and gasoline because of his dire financial situation.

9) When Pollock’s father, LeRoy, died on March 6, 1933, Pollock did not have enough money to return home for the funeral.

10) For one summer, Pollock worked as a lumberjack in Big Pines, California.

11) Some people would buy Pollock drinks at the bar just to see what kind of bizarre antics he would get up to when drunk.

12) In 2006, Pollock’s No. 5, 1948 became the world’s most expensive painting, when it was sold for $140 million.

13) In 1947, Pollock applied for a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation, but was rejected.

14) Pollock stopped naming his pictures (giving them numbers instead) because he didn’t want people to look for a subject matter or a meaning in his art. Instead he wanted the appreciate the painting for what it was.

15) The first of Pollock’s paintings to be acquired by a museum was The She-Wolf, bought by MoMA for $650 on May 2, 1944. Pollock said of the painting: “She-Wolf came into existence because I had to paint it. Any attempt on my part to say something about it, to attempt explanation on the inexplicable, could only destroy it.”

16) He was the subject of the Oscar-winning film “Pollock” directed by and starring Ed Harris

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