07 February 2010

Cycle lanes: A load of Jackson Pollocks

US abstract painter Jackson Pollock, aka 'Jack the Dripper', was a Real Cyclist.

We know this from Ed Harris's portrayal of him in the 2000 film Pollock. In once scene, a drunken Pollock ferries a basketload of beer home, only to crash en route (right), creating an impromptu artwork across the tarmac.

(And, hah, helmet advocates! He's not wearing a helmet and look, he's PERFECTLY OK! Well, they say that drunks fall in a relaxed way.)

Excitingly, new research by academics over at Waltham Forest suggests that Pollock created an early work in north London, presumably while cycling, too.


  1. I didn't know that.

    But wasn't he also a maniacal car driver?

  2. So it seems - Harris's film has a suicidally depressed Pollock getting pissed up and deliberately driving at speed to his doom. Wikipedia's entry says Pollock "died in a single-car crash in his Oldsmobile convertible while driving under the influence of alcohol. One of the passengers, Edith Metzger, was also killed in the accident". Wow. I didn't know police officers wrote Wikipedia entries.

    Given that he was evidently a cyclist, there are some dark jokes that could be made about effective ways to commit suicide that would have involved less collateral damage... but perhaps not too explicitly.