‘It cost $5 in a junk shop, but could it be a $50m Pollock?’



What I find interesting about the controversy described in this article is that it teaches us a few lessons (provided we are willing to be taught one). For example, what does it tell us about the art world that so many people simply refuse to believe a painting by Jackson Pollock could be bought - with a tremendous amount of luck - at a thrift store? And what does it tell us about the art world that some people (the people at the thrift store) think the painting is worth $7, whereas others (some of the appraisers) think it’s worth about one million times more than that? And if, as Thomas Hoving claims in the article, the painting was not done by Jackson Pollock but by someone who “had a house in some sunny part of the world, Palm Beach or something, and wanted an abstract painting, maybe like a Pollock, in colours that would have fit the room”, why would that someone’s work then worth so much less than a painting by Jackson Pollock, despite the fact that the painting in question and Pollock’s paintings look as if they were done by one person?