Pollock is a 2000 biopic that was directed by and stars Ed Harris as the emotionally troubled modern abstract artist Jackson Pollock. Also featured are Marcia Gay Harden as his wife, Lee Krasner, and Harris' real life wife Amy Madigan as Peggy Guggenheim. Ed Harris won an Academy Award for his performance. Norbert is featured in the role of Hans Namuth, the man who photographed Pollock as he worked on his unique style of paintings, whereby he dripped paint over the canvas. Hans Namuth specialized in portraiture, photographing many artists, including Jackson Pollock. His photos and films of Pollock at work increased Pollock's fame and recognition and led to a greater understanding of his techniques. Hans Namuth was not initially interested in the work of Pollock, but his teacher, Alexey Brodovitch, convinced him that Pollock was an important painter. In July 1950, Namuth approached Pollock and asked to photograph him working in his studio. With the encouragement from his wife he agreed. The resulting images helped to clear the mystery of Pollock's famous "drip" technique of painting, revealing it to be a deliberative process rather than a random splashing of paint. Not satisfied with black and white stills, Namuth wanted to create a color film that managed to focus on Pollock and his painting at the same time, partially because it is reported that he found more interest in Pollock's image than in his art. His solution was to have Pollock paint on a large sheet of glass as Namuth filmed from underneath the work. Since Namuth could not afford professional lighting, the film was shot outside Pollock's Long Island home. This documentary is considered one of the most influential for artists.
During his time with Pollock, Hans Namuth had created two films and captured more than 500 photographs of the artist. These photos were first published in 1951 in Portfolio, a journal edited by Alexey Brodovitch and Franz Zachary. After the death of Pollock in 1956, Namuth's photos grew in popularity and were often used in articles about the painter in place of Pollock's artwork itself. In November 1950, Namuth and Pollock's relationship came to an abrupt conclusion. After coming in from the cold-weather shoot of the glass painting, Pollock, who had been treated in the 1930s for alcoholism, poured himself several drinks after supposedly having been sober for two years. An argument between Namuth and Pollock ensuedwitheachcallingtheotheraphonyandculminatinginPollockoverturningatable of food and dinnerware in front of several guests.
You can do additional reading on Jackson Pollock and see examples of his art on this web museum dedicated to him, and this other site dedicated to Pollock here.Pollock was known as an eccentric yet reclusive individual who did not seek the fame that came to him.
Namuth was born in Essen, Germany in 1917, and died in 1990 in a Long Island automobile accident not far from where Pollock had similarly died in a car crash.