Jay mentioned on the episode being profoundly affected a short film from 1951 where Jackson Pollock shows how he works. Here’s a clip from it (Jay says it’s almost impossible to get one’s hands on a decent copy of the whole thing, but in the Ed Harris movie about Pollock they depict the making of the clip.):
Jay told us:
All I can say is that I always thought the guy’s art was garbage until I saw this film, which is much longer as a whole. It blew me away. Changed everything in how I saw art and very much defined my “art world” view. Give it a look. All that American Abstract Expressionist stuff is pretty fantastic and, at least in my mind, was the last great era of painting.
You can check out a number of Pollock’s works here.
Here’s a taste, from ’39 or so, as I personally prefer this pencil work to the paint dripping shown above: “Untitled (Psychoanalytic Drawing),” which to me looks like someone who ate himself: