Life is a great big canvas. Throw all the paint you can on it. — Danny Kaye
Three years ago, the most stoic person I know told me that the only piece of artwork that has ever touched him emotionally is this one. I was, frankly, incredulous. Squealing puppies, airport terminal reunions, and tender moments between elderly couples could never got a rise out of him — but, somehow, one of Jackson Pollock’s monochromatic drip paintings did. Go figure.
The truth is that I never understood what made Pollock a great American artist. To me, his wet-string-like paintings always rendered haphazard, effortless, and sadly one dimensional. No matter how hard I tried, I could not fathom how dark squiggles on canvas could ever bring a grown man to tears. But today I came a little closer to understanding, when I discovered Agnes-Cecile.
I stumbled upon Agnes-Cecile’s work while searching for some new eye candy to hang in my bedroom, and although it took one of her 4-minute YouTube videos for me to get there, I did in fact become a fan of drip artwork.
There is something admirably brave about Agnes-Cecile’s approach to art. She begins each of her pieces with a vision — an intention — but, for the most part, she puts her paintings into the hands of gravity and waits to see how they take shape on their own. While watching this 21-year-old artist in action, I was reminded of a few moments in my life when I was blindsided — some times by beauty, others by happiness, but always unforeseen and often for the better. Through those recollections, I saw how drip artwork can be emotionally powerful — in a way that is uniquely attributable to its viewer, and one that usually takes him or her by surprise.
Like the fluid squiggles of a Pollock painting, our senses of self and their manifestations in our tastes, preferences — even physical creations — shift in shape and form continuously. And whether or not we want to admit it, that is due less in part to our premeditation than it is to the random whims in life. It is true that we are the masters of our own destinies, but I, for one, find it interesting — sometimes, when we let the paint fall where it may, we can end up creating something that is more treasured and striking than that which we could have ever dreamed up on our own.