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Jackson Pollock was one of the key figures of the Abstract Expressionist movement in post WWII America. Born in 1912 on a sheep ranch in Wyoming, he spent his childhood between California and Arizona with his parents and four brothers.
Expelled from high school in 1928, Pollock moved to New York and studied at the Art Students League of New York under the tutelage of painter Thomas Hart Benton, whose fierce rhythmic style of painting made a lasting impression on the young artist.
Introduced to liquid painting at an experimental workshop held by Mexican mural artist David Alfaro Siqueros, Pollock began to employ the technique of paint dripping on works like 'Male and Female' and 'Composition with Pouring I'. Developing what was to become known as Action Painting, Pollock rejected artist's oils in favour of household paints, using sticks and basting syringes to apply the colours on his canvases. At the height of his fame, Pollock started numbering his art work instead of using titles, stopping his audience from seeking representation of objects from real life. He liked all his paint drips and splatters to be unplanned and accidental, wanting to reach a stage of expression known as pure painting.
Pollock struggled with alcoholism, and its been suggested recently that he may have been suffering from bipolar disorder. Under the influence of alcohol, the artist's life tragically ended in a drink-driving accident on August 11, 1956.
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