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science = art

Jackson Pollock, Secret Physicist?

All those squiggly lines and curls and drips. While seemingly random, a recent study in Physics Today by a Boston College physicist and art historian, with the help of a Harvard mathematician, shows that Jackson Pollock mostly knew what he was doing. By thickening and thinning many of the paints he used, and changing the speed with which he dribbled them on canvas, Pollock was often able to control just how much coiling showed up on his paintings. (For the truly nerdy, the paper's authors even came up with an equation they think explains how Pollock dripped paint on canvas.) [Wired]

Photo: Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images