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  • Jackson Pollock and the CIA
  • eddiebaby
    Full Member

    A fascinating first look for me at the CIA funding and promoting abstract art as a weapon.

    https://medium.com/@MichaelMcBride/how-jackson-pollock-and-the-cia-teamed-up-to-win-the-cold-war-6734c40f5b14

    creakingdoor
    Free Member

    I went to the Tate Modern in Liverpool a few weeks back.
    I definitely didn’t get it.
    Does that make me a Communist, or a CIA spy?
    Or a “McCarthyite”?
    FWIW, I quite like the CCCP-era art urging the ‘proletariat’ to come together. Like Lowry, it’s very much of its time. Pollock leaves me cold.

    BigJohn
    Full Member

    I thought this was going to be an example of Michael Stipe’s latest rendition of Man on the Moon, given his notoriously bad memory for his own lyrics.

    inkster
    Free Member

    “I went to the Tate Modern in Liverpool a few weeks back.
    I definitely didn’t get it.
    Does that make me a Communist, or a CIA spy?
    Or a “McCarthyite”?

    It might make you an amalgam of a communist and a McCarthyite but not a CIA spy because in order to become a CIA spy you would have to ‘get it’.

    mrmoofo
    Full Member

    Is this in the same vein as “Winds of Change” by the Scorpions being written and promoted by the CIA?

    sirromj
    Free Member

    Dunno read the short article, it’s an easy read being written in plain English without any intellectual pretensions.

    sirromj
    Free Member

    a rejection of ideology

    is so

    “I could do that.”

    but the powers that be have their favourites, agenda, and their own history to write.

    johnx2
    Free Member

    The CIA funded lefty/radical art in the interests of extending US cultural reach, well known example being The American Society of African Culture (AMSAC) which supported concerts in Africa of black US artists including Nina Simone. Here’s a ref:

    https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14794012.2018.1423601

    I’m not usually a conspiracy theorist, but this was a modest conspiracy carried out by folks whose day job was to conspire.

    So not really a surprise if the CIA gave it a go with abstract expressionism which could be framed as exciting individuality and personal expression, as opposed to the state sponsored socialist realist art of the Soviet Union. On which I think Jack the Dripper was considered a bit of a hack, though the stuff of his I’ve seen close up does have something about it. There: art criticism.

    CountZero
    Full Member

    I definitely didn’t get it.

    It’s abstract art, you don’t ‘have’ to ‘get it’, but you can like something regardless. There have been tests which show that even people who don’t actually‘understand’ such art can somehow spot a fake compared to an original.

    A mate used to rave about Mark Rothko, and looking at photos I just couldn’t understand what he was on about, until I went to a retrospective exhibition at Tate Modern, and it clicked. In particular there’s a large group he painted for a big swanky restaurant, but they turned them down because the paintings just appear to be big black rectangles.
    Reading about them, they’re apparently painted in multiple layers of different colours, which become apparent under UV light, which my mate has a particular sensitivity to, so he can see textures that I just can’t see – he can happily sit staring at them for ages!
    Personally, I prefer Rothko’s more colourful paintings! 😁

    LAT
    Full Member

    my favourite rhyming slang is Jackson Pollocks/bollocks.

    kayak23
    Full Member

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