Every Person a Pollock!

Every Person a Pollock! combines the imagery of Hans Namuth’s film of Jackson Pollock, Max Klein’s “Paint by Number” kits, and Arthur Murray’s dance diagrams.  The result of this combination is an ad hoc dance studio complete with wall-sized mirrors, ballet barres, and life-size dance diagrams walking across the floor, up the walls, and mimicking Pollock’s movements while painting. 

Jackson Pollock’s technique, called gesture painting, can be seen in the video monitors on the wall.  While dropping paint, he moves in, over, and around a horizontal canvas placed on the floor, an altogether revolutionary concept when first seen in 1947.  For this installation, Matthew Conboy and Heather Pinson are motivated to investigate the process of making art at its most basic level—the actions of Pollock as he creates art.  We have documented Pollock’s footsteps and presented them in the manner of a dance diagram, similar to what one would find in a ballroom dance class.  The original music recorded by Pinson captures the rhythm of dancing and provides a soundtrack to accompany the animated videos of Pollock’s movements.

Similar to Max Klein’s “Paint by Number” kits which proclaim “Every Man a Rembrandt!” on the cover, anyone can produce “fine art" if given step-by-step instructions.  Every Person a Pollock!

This piece was originally installed in the Mattress Factory Art Museum from May 8th to June 10th 2010. It was reinstalled at Allegheny College in Meadville, PA as part of the 8 Hour Project: Performativity from August 31st-September 23rd, 2013.