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Beasts

Jackson Pollock has inspired many with his abstract painting techniques that were, at the time, new to the art world. One work that stood out to me was never titled, but if I were to name it, it would be called Beasts. It was made in 1939 with colored pencil and graphite on paper. It is a picture of a human-like figure with animal parts including a snake’s head, a boar’s nose attached to the body, and a long tongue coming out of the mouth. It is hard to make out, but the figure appears to be sitting with a cube behind it and flames on the left side of its leg. There is also another figure at the top of the picture, partially covered by the beast. It looks like a horse. 

I like this work of art because it is very creative and it reminds me of a quote I heard a while ago: 

“Among all beasts in the world, the human boy is the most challenging to tame.” 

The subject offers no indication of which gender it is, but this is what I would decipher it to be. A yellowish background adds a certain feeling to the work that I can’t even define in words. The color of the background sets the tone, which seems like loss or silence, and gives you an idea of what the artist was feeling.

By William

Jackson Pollock, Untitled, c. 1939–42  85.18
Jackson Pollock, Untitled, c. 1939–42. Colored pencil and graphite on paper, 14 × 11 in. (35.6 × 27.9 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase with funds from the Julia B. Engel Purchase Fund and the Drawing Committee  85.18
© 2009 The Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York