cultural capital

Horton Hears a Pollock

Teri Trucker

Teri Horton bought what she thought was an ugly painting for $5.Photo: Picturehouse Films

Trucker Teri Horton bought a $5 Jackson Pollock look-alike from a California thrift store fifteen years ago and is still trying to convince the art world of its legitimate provenance. In Who the #$&% Is Jackson Pollock?, the documentary about Horton’s quest that opened last week at the IFC Center in Greenwich Village, former Met director Thomas Hoving is among the experts who scoff at her painting, declaring that the piece “has no soul and no heart” after ostentatiously peering at it from different angles.

A fingerprint on the back of Untitled 1948 matches one on a paint can in Pollock’s well-preserved East Hampton studio, but forensic holds little currency with curators. “Scientists are very interesting,” says Hoving in the film, “but they come after the connoisseurs.” But buyers seem to agree with the CSI approach; Horton refused an initial offer of $2 million and most recently heard $19 million. She’s quiet about the deal’s details. Being coy, she says, “is a scheme I learned from the art world.”

Wren Abbott

Horton Hears a Pollock