Home > Article > Houston Artletter > From the Vault

Manuel Ocampo

This is a painting by Manuel Ocampo I saw in Los Angeles a few years ago. It's not as funny now as it was when I came across it unexpectedly in a gallery, but it's still stuck in my memory.

Yesterday I heard a bit about Pollock's The Deep on KUHF's Front Row show and I thought it's about time I started writing again. Granted, describing abstact paintings on the radio isn't easy but get this: KUHF's Catherine Lu begins by inviting the guests to "begin by describing the work for our audience as radio listeners" and Marcia Brennan, the art historian who did most of the talking begins: "The Deep is such a beautiful and unusual painting-how does one describe a Pollock?" then skips right onto her thesis: "The painting is always talked about as a late masterwork, but the thing that's so interesting to me about the Deep is that it both is and is not anomalous within Pollock's work . . . "

Karl Killian, the voice of reason, mentioned that people see the dark shape in the center as a dead body, and asked for reaction, but got no takers. He tactfully cautioned Ms Lu, who saw the piece as introspective and the product of an older artist, against making too much of the "late in his career" bit, since Pollock died unexpectedly at 44.

Jackson Pollock, The Deep

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Funding generously provided by: