I had fun with the title of this textile, which I think of as a tutti frutti version, in wool, of Jackson Pollock's drips; it references Barnett Newman's "zips", Pollock's Blue Poles, and a favorite childhood song, "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah". I wasn't at all sure I'd like the piece when I started it, but I think it's not bad. The change of color from right to left, from lighter to more saturated, was not something I had planned, but that's okay too. I like the tension between the two thick dark blue zips.
Barnett Newman, Canto II from 18 Cantos, 1964; lithograph, 14 5/16 x 12 5/8 inches.
My favorite Newmans in the MoMA show of abstract expressionism were his prints, a nice surprise for me. This one wasn't in the show, but it's very beautiful, and hey...it's a blue zip!
For many years I had no way into a Pollock painting, feeling locked out of its meaning. Then one day at the Museum of Modern Art several years ago, I walked into the Pollock room and I can only describe my feeling as a revelation: the paintings were finally transparent to me, and I was stunned by their deep beauty. The webs of paint became metaphors for the universe.
To dye the wool for this piece, I crowded it in a shallow pan and dripped and splashed the colors in spots from a spoon (not a stick) onto it. The result was irregular blotches of color mixing and mingling, with an overall pinkish tone. When the wool strips are hooked, the colors pop up in ways I can't order, so it's all a surprise, resulting in a lighthearted homage.