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Number 3, 1950
James Woessner on seeing a whole new world in nothingness.
Sitting cross-legged on the wooden floor, the boy looked up to see a uniformed man looking down at him.
“Are you Jimmy?” the man asked.
The boy nodded.
“Would you come with me?”
The boy looked back at the painting without answering.
“That’s me,” the boy said, almost whispering.
“What’s you?” the man asked.
“There,” he said, pointing. “That blue-gray line in with all those swirls of color. That’s me dancing like at a party bumping into people. And the noise.”
“I’m afraid I don’t hear any noise,” the man said, “and certainly don’t see any people.”
“Listen, your mother got herself lost, and she’d love for you to help me find her.”
“It’s alive,” the boy said, hypnotized.
“It’s a Jackson Pollock,” the man said, looking at the painting. “I guess some people like it.”
“I’d like to meet this guy Jackson Pollock.”
“Afraid you can’t do that, son. He died.”
“He painted me and I never met him.”
“It’s called an abstract.”
“What’s that?” the boy asked.
“It doesn’t represent anything real.”
“How is it not real?”
“C’mon now, we should go find your mother.”
“How you going to do that if you can’t see people?”
Jim Woessner is a visual artist and writer living on the water in Sausalito, California.
Paul Jackson Pollock (1912-1956) was an American painter best known for his abstract expressionist art. He was married to Lee Krasner.