Finding My Soul in Jackson Pollock

Preston - Conroe, Texas
Entered on April 20, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: creativity, hope

Jackson Pollock’s Number 6 is in the Museum of Fine Arts Houston.

At the time I simply found the spattering of colors on an oversized canvas breathtaking for the sheer enormity and confusion of the work. It wasn’t until later that I looked back to Pollock’s painting.

Sitting on the bench before it, I was in comparison to the canvas as small and insignificant as the myriads of tiny yellow and red dots being encircled by cisterns of black and white amidst an ocean of grey. Slowly, staring up at the explosion of color, I came to a realization. I stopped trying to understand what Pollock intended and instead sought out how it inspired me.

I saw the world in those colors.

I saw the great vast grey that is the hopes and fears of all nations blended together into the mess of conflict that engulfs the world. I saw the purest stripes of the righteous of all lands working toward peace in the white and the bitterest scars of the evil in every continent working to promote the chaos in the black. I saw the eruptions of new hope and new life in the freshly kindled flames of the yellow and red. Those flames, so small, would eventually be overcome by either the white or the black and in turn become a part of the shades of grey.

And the cycle would continue on.

The cynic within me was disgusted by the thought. I allowed myself in that moment to believe that there was no changing the colors, there was no overcoming the black. Red and yellow are much easier to turn into darker shades than they are to bring to the light.

But as I looked up once more at the large, eternal blending of colors, I saw that in those shades of grey, there were lighter shades. Those lighter shades outnumbered and surrounded the darker shades, threatening to overcome them. In the black too I noticed speckles of white had infiltrated the ranks of odium bringers, setting up camp, ready to lay siege, to reclaim the lands with peace.

This was a world I could be proud of. This was a world of which I desired to belong. I would be that tiny speckle of white, lost in the great black, adding to the lighter shades of grey. Eventually, I mused, an eternal sea of white would replace the grey. And there I was left with the final thought: hope.