Michael Jackson Pollock (2007) gestures to this self-destructive instability through the marriage of two of America’s most famous artists—the painter Jackson Pollock and the pop superstar Michael Jackson. Originating from the semantic hinge of a shared name, this series of performance photographs constitutes a quasi-historical fantasy by drawing on the familiar and the unreal, the comic and the tragic, the planned and the accidental. Into the recreated barn studio of Pollock, Reiman inserts a hybrid character—an amalgamation of the painter and the pop star—who reenacts the painter’s signature technique of dripping loose paint onto a canvas laid flat on the studio floor while sporting a thick, jheri curl mane and an iconic glitter glove. Reiman integrates these cultural idols through a play of signs, and he uses the strategy of reenactment to compel a comparison of the artists and interrogate the mediation of collective memory.
Taken from the essay Performing Greatness Again, and Again by Ruth Erickson, 2008
G. Washington Published June 11, 2008