Review of “Who The #%&% is Jackson Pollock”
When truck driver Teri Horton purchases a painting at a thrift store for $5 (she haggled it down from the original $8 asking price) she has no idea that she might have purchased an original Jackson Pollock painting worth as much as fifty million dollars.
Teri’s attempt to authenticate the painting with art experts is met with skepticism and disinterest. When she finally persuades an art expert to view the painting, he quickly dismisses it as not an original. His only evidence of this is because “I’m an expert and she’s not.” Undaunted, Teri turns to a forensic scientist who specializes in authenticating rare art.
After finding a finger print on the back of the canvas, the forensic scientist matches the fingerprint to one found in the artisit’s actual studio. Other bits of evidence such as a matching of paint samples between Teri’s painting and paint found in Pollock’s studio add further verification. None of this matters to the art world though.
The painting does draw enough interest that Teri recieves an offer of two million dollars, no questions asked. Teri turns the offer down. Teri, who lives in a trailor park and could obviously benefit from the money, has become obsessed with proving the snobbish art world wrong.
I’m no art expert, but I never thought there was anything special about Pollock’s work to begin with. It’s nothing more than paint thrown at a canvas. Despite my prejudice, the evidence of authenticity offered passes my test. The most telling moment for me is when another art expert views the painting and quickly dismisses it saying that all you have to do is compare the painting to an original Jackson Pollock painting and the differences will be plainly visible. Well, the filmaker does just that. And when you view Teri’s painting next to an original, there is no way anyone can tell the difference.
The film ends with Teri turning down another offer. This one for nine million. Teri, please come to your senses. We know you have an original Jackson Pollock. The art world is wrong. Take the money and run.