I know I’m a little late to the game here, but this documentary is brilliant. Who The #$&% is Jackson Pollock would be nothing without it’s main character, Teri Horton, the woman who bought a possible Jackson Pollock original in a thrift store for a measly $5.00!
This film chronicles how the painting fell into her hands, and following investigation into its origins.
Horton, and her finding, were rejected time and again by art snobs, who were barely willing to acknowledge her discovery, let alone help her determine if it were authentic. Undeterred, in fact, her determination was cranked up with every roadblock, and she was able to recruit a forensic art specialist, as well as a former art dealer who served time for fraud, to help her prove that the painting was in fact an original.
The legitimacy of the work was proven, but the art snobs still snubbed the entire case, though a wealthy man from the Middle East did offer an exorbitant sum for the work. Horton turned down his offer. She isn’t sentimental about the work or anything, but rather seems to feel that she has something to prove about herself, in this entire David and Goliath battle between the every-person and the art world.
Even if you could care less about Pollock, or the art world, I recommend watching this documentary, solely to see Horton. A former truck driver, she openly recounts her attempt at suicide after being left by her husband; she candidly discusses her distaste of Pollock’s work, and she dumpster dives!!! A considerable segment of the film is even dedicated to this hobby – her passion – of scouring dumpsters. Her son talks about it too, a bit embarrassed, though also seemingly impressed by many of her rescued treasures, including a very valuable watch.
I love Horton’s no bullshit attitude, and how she doesn’t suffer fools wisely. She doesn’t take crap from anyone in a suit who acts better than her for their education, their titles, or supposed expertise. She sticks to her guns, proves the jerks wrong, and at the end of the day, even if she hasn’t traded in the painting for a mountain of cash, she has her dignity, and a reputation of a person who is not to be trifled with. I hope I’m half as fierce as her someday (though I want nothing to do with that hairstyle.)