Picasso and Jackson Pollock’s Glass Symphony
FlaglerLive | March 8, 2012
Compliments of Open Culture, one of our absolute web favorites: Pablo Picasso in his Vallauris workshop, from Visite à Picasso, the 1950 film by Belgian filmmaker Paul Haesaerts, which you can see in its entirety below the two videos. We also have Jackson Pollock filmed by Hans Namuth in 1950. You can blame Namuth for throwing Pollock back into alcoholic binges because of that film.
As John Updike wrote in this 1998 piece from the New York Review of Books: “Happily, Pollock, though a terrible abuser of his body with alcohol, was mostly on the wagon and in fine trim in the years 1948 to 1950, when the eyes of the publicity machine turned upon him. The photographic images, captured by Martha Holmes for an August 1949 article in Life and by Hans Namuth in 1950 for Harper’s Bazaar, of a handsome, intent, hard-bodied man, in blue jeans and T-shirt, with a bald pate, a cigarette dangling from his lips, and a dimple in the center of his chin, prowlingly, dancingly dripping and splashing paint upon a canvas on the floor of his studio, defined “action painting” and planted an icon, to be jeered or cheered, in the national imagination. His sudden death by automobile, at the age of forty-four, the year after James Dean’s fatal crash, cemented the romantic fable: a beautiful, reckless rebel perished of-what? Of success and the attendant self-disgust. […] Pollock took his first drink in two years the Saturday that Namuth, who made movies of the painter at work as well as stills, had at last ceased his filming. The weather had turned cold, this outdoor exercise in publicity had turned uncomfortable, and Pollock, ever angrily alert to the possibility of phoniness, poured himself a belt, and then another. It was a quick skid downward thereafter.”
Here’s Jackson Pollock, at 5:50 in the video, painting on glass for the very first time, before the drink:
The complete Picasso movie: