A Mall Near You, USA
Jackson Pollock is one of the most well known artists of the 20th Century, and to many iconizes the abstract expressionism of the New York School. He was also depicted by Ed Harris in an eponymous biopic; I watched it on Netflix. Jackson Pollock has shown posthumously around the world, including retrospectives at the MoMA and the Tate. His work has fetched uncomfortable sale prices, like "No. 5, 1948", which sold for $140,000,000 in 2006.
So what do you get the man who has it all for his 100th birthday? A pair of commemorative Crocs.
When I ventured to start writing the High/Low (last week), searching for high art in low places, I did not think the universe would toss me such a softball. It did, so I swung hard. Unfortunately, no representatives from Crocs were available for comment.
Jackson Pollock now joins the ranks of Spongebob Squarepants, Scooby Doo, and Mario Batali in having his very own line of limited edition Crocs. The motivation behind the limited edition is unclear, and kind of surprising. It is hard to draw many parallels between the bulbous garden footwear, and the late artist. Pollock is known for his volatile personality and struggle with alcoholism, which ultimately led to his demise; Crocs come in Realtree camouflage, lined with fur, or adorned with the cast of Cars. I am learning a lot about Crocs today.
According to the website, these fine looking rubber clogs were released in celebration of the artists 100th birthday, and designed in collaboration with the Stony Brook University. The design is based off a photo taken of Jackson Pollock's studio floor- one can only assuming using his actual paintings would have infringed on some kind of copyright.
This is my primary concern: If I am understanding this correctly, the shoe's design isn't meant to reflect Pollock's work, but rather the mess he made while creating it, a field day for the "I could do that" or "that isn't art" school of armchair art criticism. If we're really talking about the man's floor, they might be right on both accounts. To be fair, if Pollock had worn Crocs, this might be what they look like.
On the upside, they look better than the Mario Batali edition, and they sound comfortable. Based on user reviews (all 5 stars), the shoes are extra wide and they feel like "foot massage", and who doesn't like a good foot massage. The Croc's website doesn't mention anything about sharing revenue from the product line with the Pollock-Krasner House & Study Center, however an LA Times article anticipating the release of the shoe said they were planning on it. Let's hope that worked out.
If anyone at Crocs is reading this, I wear Men's 12.