Analysis Of Nietzsche's Full Fathom Five

1937 WordsDec 19, 20178 Pages
Jackson Pollock’s painting titled Full Fathom Five reveals black and silver splatters of paint that aren’t necessarily straight. His painting includes colors such as blue, black, white and even specks of orange. In addition, there are no figures which can be easily deciphered and the paint seems to have been spilled all over the canvas. Thus, the painting does not display calculation or a lot of logic. Instead, his creation seems to thrive off creativity and disorder. So I ask, how do we make sense of such an unreasonable painting? The answer can be found within the philosophical ideas of Friedrich Nietzsche. Nietzsche introduces to readers both the Apollonian force and the Dionysian force is his book The Birth of Tragedy. To be specific,…show more content…
Under such an intoxicating force, Pollock did not think to create symmetrical lines or clear cut images. We see this throughout the contrasting paint splatters on the canvas. This intoxicating force also influences his artistic vision. For example, in Full Fathom five Pollock frees himself of the rules a figurative painter, or Apollonian artist, would follow. An Apollonian artist following the rules of the force of the line and image would include symmetry and/or logic in their artwork. These rules also include creating distinguishable figures for people to view. The idea that an Apollonian artist would create clear images is presented when Nietzsche tells reader to “...imagine how, through Apollonian dream-inspiration, his own state, i.e., his oneness with the inmost ground of the world, is revealed to him in a symbolical dream image” (Cahn and Meskin 224). In this quote, Nietzsche refers to the Apollonian artist as an artist who sees the world in symbolical images and then goes on to create them. Likewise, the Apollonian artist creates works of images and does not give us any sense of intoxication or ambiguity. In this way, Nietzsche would say that Pollock unleashed himself from any boundaries given to an artist following the Apollonian rules of art. The outcome of this dissociation is a Dionysian influenced painting displaying expressive paint splatters placed in unique patterns.

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