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I was about 7 years old when I first saw a Jackson Pollock, of course I had no idea who he was or what Abstract Expressionism was, all I knew was I thought the painting was incredible. I have always been a lover of movies, as a kid one of my favorite movies was Ferris Bueller’s day off. In the movie there’s a scene in which the three teenagers who are ditching school go to an art museum. The scene flashes a few pieces and sculptures. Pollock’s work only flashes for a second, but I can remember rewinding and pausing that moment. I didn’t know what I was really looking at; all I knew was it made me feel hopeful. It’s a bit odd to think a painting can move a 7 year old, but I believe that is what Abstract Expressionism is all about.

Pollock’s success was mixed and brief but so influential to this day. His movement and process of laying the colors was like a composer writing a ballad. I believe Pollock felt happiest when he was creating. Unfortunately when his drinking increased so did his painting. There may be a link to emotions and the work itself; maybe this is why Abstract Expressionism is so intriguing.

This particular movement was impactful because instead of focusing on the painting itself, the pieces allowed for the audience to think, and feel what the artist was experiencing through the process. Abstract Expressionism may not be traditional in the way the renaissance style painting is, but I would argue there is as much technique and thought that goes into making a piece. The composition, color choice, balance and contrast are some of the few ideas and goals for this type of work.

When it comes to technical skill, Abstract Expressionism is free of that. There are techniques implemented and followed, but this movement is more so led by feelings, the expressive human is the focus in a piece. The human condition is a fascinating concept, what Abstract Expressionism allows is for both creator and spectator to experience an emotion, rather it be hopeful or confusion, that is Abstract Expressionism.

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