"In an article published this week in the prestigious science journal Nature, two physicists contend that a method intended to identify complex geometric patterns in the seemingly chaotic drip paintings of Jackson Pollock is flawed and may be useless in the increasingly convoluted world of authenticating Pollock’s work."
The New York Times 12/02/06
I watched a bit of television late Friday evening and saw an episode of “Numb3rs” that focused on using math to authenticate artwork. The primary key to their ability to “tell” one legitimate piece from a fake was by tracing the depth and length of the artist’s brushstrokes. I wonder where that puts me and my work. I purposefully change techniques and materials on a regular basis, in an effort to find new ways of expressing a singular style. The only time one sees a brushstroke in my work, is when I intend to put it there. I realize the popularity of the television show “Numb3rs” and the neo-American need to turn every mystery of life into an episode of “C.S.I.”, but Pollock was not a mathematician. He lived for randomness in both his work and relationships. He was the worst kind of criminal from the perspective of a mathematician. He played their game, but refused to look at their rulebook. Pollock is one of those artists where the work’s authenticity depends upon the provenance. The same may one day be true of my own art. – DN