GESAMTKUNSTWERK  (Jackson Pollock-Full Fathom Five)

Jackson Pollock is one of my favourite artists because I am a big fan of the abstract expressionist movement. I love the emotions portrayed in his work. For this project I chose his piece called Full Fathom Five which had been said to relate from Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’ where Ariel describes a death by shipwreck (“Full Fathom five thy father lies, of his bones coral made, those pearls that was his eyes”)

Full Fathom Five, 1947, oil on canvas with nails, tacks, buttons, key, coins, cigarettes, matches ect., 129.2 x 76.5cm

jackson pollock full fathom five

Function-The painting is purely aesthetic and made to be viewed in a gallery or for a personal manner. As pollock is from an abstract expressionist movement there is no need for function but art is made more for an emotional and personal response. I love the idea of no function in art, just a aesthetic viewing. The paintings Jackson Pollock makes are very large and this is so you are surrounded by his work and his world. I love how the abstract expressionists would create a work of art just by reacting to a theme another work or their own emotions and feelings.

Material- The materials used are oil on canvas, with nails, tacks, buttons, keys, coins, cigarettes, matches etc. It is quite difficult to view all the materials used because they have been submerged underneath the layers of oil paint. The reason Pollock uses mixed materials in his work is so that they are there to build up depth and add texture. I am really interested how artists like ‘Ruth Harries’ and Pollock use mixed media and functioning materials and uses them for something entirely new and different. Pollock here uses the materials to add further in his concept of ‘The Tempest’ and the idea of the shipwreck being lost at sea and hidden beneath the deep.

Craftsmanship- The skill involved in Pollock’s work is found to be debatable, but as this is my opinion I find it to be very high. Pollock shows he can use found objects to elevate and bring texture to his work not only to help build the surface up but to also add to the conceptual side also. Being an abstract expressionist there main skills are to portray emotion in his work and I think he has achieved this. Pollock is also the pioneer of the ‘drip’ technique which has become more popular among the art world. I think he is a very skilled painter.

Expression- Pollock is from the Abstract Expressionist movement so his work is highly expressive. I find it mesmerizing, something I can get lost in. The layers of paint dripped upon the canvas make a web which I get entangled in and feel like I am trapped. I think this is his intentions. I love how this work makes me feel and if I could capture the strong emotion portrayed in this, in my own work I would feel like I have achieved something. I would like to create something expressive in my own work.

Innovative- I am inspired by the portrayal of emotion and would love to replicate this in my own work. I would like to be able to create something personal to me but also have it speak to others. I want to have the viewers to keep coming up with hidden meanings and hidden emotions in my work. This work has certainly inspired me in my own practice.


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