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Jackson Pollock -- Full Fathom Five

Full Fathom Five, pictured above, is considered one of Jackson Pollock's earliest masterpieces. The connection with Shakespeare's Tempest is somewhat elusive -- at first glance, it may appear that the dominance of the sea green paint is the only clear connection with Ariel's song.

Much of Pollock's painting philosophy could be seen as in dialogue with the events of the tempest. In this piece in particular, Pollock allowed nails and cigarette butts to creep onto the canvas and dry in with the paint as a testament to the accidental nature of the artwork. Just as the storm at sea has appeared to take Ferdinand's father by chance, belying the fact that the event took place at Prospero's behest, the artists here is testing the boundaries of control and aquiesscence in his painting -- he is ultimately still in control, although the outward appearance of the piece suggests chaos.

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