This is not a Jackson Pollock painting. It’s a painstaking replica by Chicago artist Mike Bidlo, who titled it, aptly, Not Pollock.
“My work is perhaps an extreme example of this strain of art which references other art because it directly mirrors the image, scale, and materials of the original,” Bidlo told Robert Rosenblum in 2003. “Whatever differences appear in my work are a consequence of my working method and not an attempt at projecting a personal style.”
Is this art? If not, why not?
(Pollock himself had an uphill fight — he received this letter in August 1949:)
Dear Mr. Pollock,
Just a few lines to tell you that my seven year old son Manning couldn’t get over your picture Number Nine. Frankly, it looked like some of his fingerpainting at school to me. However, he insisted that I write you to tell you that he cut it out of the ‘Life’ and put it in his scrap-book — the first painting that he has ever cut out –
He really has quite good taste as you can tell by the Cocker — Snafu — he is holding. He wanted you to have his picture in exchange for his copy of No. 9 — which he loves –
Mrs. Helen K. Sellers