CARJACKED (After Jackson Pollock)

Coll.eo, 2012

Jackson Pollock’s signature drip style adorns this luxurious 1959 BMW, a BMW Art Car ante-litteram.  This one-of-a-kind vehicle is an unofficial adaptation of Pollock’s “One: Number 31” (Oil and enamel paint on canvas, 8’ 10” x 17’5 ⅝), painted in 1950. The artwork is part of ithe MoMa collection. 

Pollock died in an alcohol-related car accident on August 11, 1956. He was driving a three-year old Oldsmobile 88 convertible with two young women from New York City, Edith Metzger and Ruth Kligman. The three were headed to Alfonso Ossorio’s house on the shores of Georgica Pond. Ossorio, a friend of Pollock’s who had just come back from the Philippines, was hosting a party. Lee Krasner, Pollock’s wife, was in France at the time of the accident.

On the way to Ossorio’s house, Pollock changed his mind and suddenly decided to head back, to his own home, located on Springs Fireplace Road. The painter lost control of the car. The convertible slid off the road and slammed at full speed into the trees on the side of the road. Jackson Pollock died instantly. Edith Metzger, who was sitting in the back seat, also died after the impact. Sitting next to Pollock, abstract painter Ruth Kligman was seriously injured but recovered in the hospital. 

Game over for Pollock.

Image credit:  Jackson Pollock (1912-1956), One: Number 31, 1950, Oil and enamel paint on canvas, 8’ 10” x 17’ 5 5/8. Courtesy of the MoMa.