Film

Jackson Pollock

Trash to treasure and back again

By E. Vernon Laux - January 25, 2007

When Teri Horton, a 73-year-old former long-haul truck driver with an eighth-grade education, bought a painting in a thrift shop for five dollars, she didn't know that it would pit her against the highest and mightiest people in the art world and perhaps change forever the way art is authenticated.

Working with a forensic scientist, Teri learned that a fingerprint on the back of her canvas matched up with a fingerprint found on a can of paint in the studio of Jackson Pollock. More research showed that the paint on the floor of Pollock's studio matched the paint on Teri's canvas. Because Teri knew that a Jackson Pollock painting the size of hers was worth upward of $50 million, she thought she had won the lottery.

"Not so fast," said the art establishment, which looked down its collective nose at Teri and proclaimed her painting worthless.

"Who the #$&% Is Jackson Pollock?" is a rollicking adventure story that documents Teri's 15-year war with the art world, lifts the veil on how art is bought and sold in America, and introduces audiences to the funny, profane, and thoroughly unforgettable Teri Horton.

The documentary was written and directed by Harry Moses, who, for the last 20 years spent his career in broadcast journalism on behalf of his company, The Mosaic Group, Inc. Prior to this, he was with CBS News, a producer for "60 Minutes," and executive producer of a series featuring Mike Wallace and Bill Moyers. Mr. Moses is the recipient of Emmy, Peabody, and Directors Guild of America awards, as well as a lifetime achievement certificate from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for his work on "60 Minutes."

Producer Steven Hewitt has worked with noted actors such as Helen Mirren, Sidney Poitier, and Keifer Sutherland while producing for Hallmark Entertainment. He is also credited with bringing some of the finest comedic minds in America to Showtime, such as Tim Allen, Jim Carrey, and Paul Reiser.

"Who the #$&% Is Jackson Pollock," Saturday, Jan. 27, 7:30 pm. Katharine Cornell Theatre, 54 Spring St., Vineyard Haven. Sponsored by the Martha's Vineyard Film Society. $6, $4 for film society members. PG-13. Visit www.mvfilmsociety.com or call 508-696-9369.