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Fractal Analysis

Revisiting Pollock's drip paintings

Abstract

Arising from: R. P. Taylor, A. P. Micolich and D. Jonas Nature 399, 422; 1999 Taylor et al. reply

We investigate the contentions that Jackson Pollock's drip paintings are fractals produced by the artist's Lévy distributed motion and that fractal analysis may be used to authenticate works of uncertain provenance1,2,3,4,5. We find that the paintings exhibit fractal characteristics over too small a range to be usefully considered as fractal; their limited fractal characteristics are easily generated without Lévy motion, both by freehand drawing and gaussian random motion. Several problems must therefore be addressed before fractal analysis can be used to authenticate paintings1.

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Figure 1: Fractal barcode and gaussian walk.
Figure 2: Untitled 5 and its box-counting curve.

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Correspondence to Harsh Mathur.

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Jones-Smith, K., Mathur, H. Revisiting Pollock's drip paintings. Nature 444, E9–E10 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1038/nature05398

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