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Ringstrom, P. (2013). Love at First Sight. Psychoanal. Perspect., 10(2):396-397.

(2013). Psychoanalytic Perspectives, 10(2):396-397

Love at First Sight

Philip Ringstrom, PsyD

FIGURE 1  Jackson Pollock, “Number 1A,” 1948, oil on canvas (color figure available online).

Growing up in the Midwest meant facing constant derision about Jackson Pollock's paintings. “Who couldn't ‘squirt’ paint all over canvas?” It didn't help that his work was only available on colorplate pages of books of modern art where they were flattened into two dimensions when in fact they were painted in three.

In the summer of 1995, I had been painting for a year. It changed how I saw everything, though I never quite realized the degree to which until I rounded a corner in the Hirschhorn Museum in Washington, DC, and confronted my first Pollock. It drew me into its tangled web of incomprehensible lines, woven in patterns only a prejudice-free mind could grasp. Gazing at my first Pollock was like falling in love. Approaching and retreating, viewing from every conceivable angle, newness abounded. Endless squirts and flecks of paint, human detritus like cigarette butts impregnated it—all of which gave rise to an in-your-face surface between you and what becomes its infinite depth. This was as close as I had ever yet come to staring into the abyss of the artist's unconscious in a manner that spoke directly to mine.

Article Citation [Who Cited This?]

Ringstrom, P. (2013). Love at First Sight. Psychoanal. Persp., 10(2):396-397

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