$5 Jackson Pollock Painting for $50 Million

These art lottery stories always make me think about the stupidity of the art market. If money motivated me I would find a lost masterpiece at a flea market every few years. A $5 painting worth $50 million is a wonderful story, but it’s a story that should be in the fiction section. Just because a Jackson Pollock sells for $140 million doesn’t mean that paintings which look like Jackson Pollock also increase in value.

who the fuck is jackson pollock?

My art lottery rant is purely based on common sense though, so maybe the painting is worth $50 million.

The Gallery Delisle in Toronoto, Canada has the “Jackson Pollock” painting up for sale with a price tag of $50 million. The retired truck driver Teri Horton bought the painting for $5 back in 1992 and has been nicknamed “Teri’s Find.” It was rejected by the “elite U.S. art community” but received “forensic authentication.”

For me, a quote on CBSNews from Teri Horton sums this painting up.. “Do I personally think it’s worth $50 million? Hell no. It’s worth the $5 I gave for it. It’s ugly.”

About Dion

Australian artist and observer of things.. all kinds of things. I like a wide variety of art, from the weird and wonderful to the bold and beautiful.. and everything in between.


  1. Anonymous says:

    I hope she gets the price she wants.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The Canadian art gallery is the one that benefits from the publicity. A fool and his money are soon parted.

  3. I hope she gets what the painting is worth. If it’s worth $5, may she get $5. If it’s worth $50 million, may she be rich!

  4. Did not read the linked story… I assume they did some form of test to establish that it was made around the time that he was alive?

    Ever wonder how many people make knock-offs today in the hopes of cashing in at some point in the future? Or for their grandchildren to cash in?

    As for Pollock… you can normally tell a fake after you’ve seen one of his works in person. There is a lot going on in his paintings than just splatter.

  5. it is beautiful,
    awesome post

  6. I wish I could link to this, could you make it so I can, thanks

  7. TinMan368 says:

    When I initially heard this story, my hopes were raised that Terri Horton’s battle with the snobs of the art world had come to end (see the brilliant documentary ‘Who the F— is Jackson Pollock’ for the details of Terri’s fight), but I guess forenic evidence is STILL not good enough for the snooty set. (They probably don’t watch the news or CSI–too lowbrow for their refined tastes, I imagine–and have no clue why things like fingerprints are accepted by a court of law.) I highly recommend the aforementioned documentary to everyone but for those of you who have trouble tracking it down, check out Paul Biro’s site (http://www.birofineartrestoration.com/Pollock/Pollock.htm), which provides the details that point to Terri’s Find being the real deal.

  8. Yeah, I might start filling my shed with Hirsts, Freuds and Koons works Brian.. as a gift for my relatives in 50 to 100 years. If all it takes for a painting to be original is age verification I’ll be leaving a shed filled with originals.

    Tinman, I agree that a lot of people in the art world are full of themselves, but if experts don’t believe it’s a Pollock it’s probably because they dont believe it’s a Pollock! It’s a good sign if it was painted around the same time that Jackson Pollock was alive, but it doesnt mean anything.

    A finger print and hair samples makes the story more interesting.

  9. Donald Frazell says:

    hirst will have no value in fifty eyars, Kons a little bit as decoration, for his ballooon animal sculptures anyway, adn Freud be seen as a good but minor patinter as he is.

    in one hundred years the decadence will be back and they will make comebacks as F’d up painters from Caravaggio to Messionier and Gerome have recently. Decadent times call for self absorbed “art’. Vital times call for human art of virility and outward looking insight. We will soon be going through such times, or not, depends partially on the returns Tuesday nite.

    But starting to give up hope that art will return, the selfishness of academic art is just too ingrained in our times, art schools may have won the rematch. And we will be the lesser for it, and really, really, REALLY boring.
    Spiritual Death

  10. Donald Frazell says:

    And Pollock was EXTREMELY spiritual, agree with Brian that anyone who actually feels art, a tiny percetagge of “artistes’, wil know a real Pollock when you see it live. And even if it isnt, if its good, why the hell not pay for it? Isn’t the point great art, not name speculation? Used to be, not anymore. Good is good, and crap is crap. All artists put out alot of crap, most nothing but.

    Art Collegia Delenda Est
    I will go down fighting.
    And hopefully wining, but doubt gnaws at my soul.

  11. TinMan368 says:

    Hey ANB,

    I’m not sure if by ‘A finger print and hair samples makes the story more interesting’ you are referring to the forensic evidence Biro found, but to keep things simple, I’ll assume that you’re aware that Biro found two useable prints on Terri’s Find that matched Pollock’s from authenticated paintings as well as paint samples on the canvas of Terri’s painting that matched samples from Pollock’s studio. (If you haven’t checked out ‘Who the F— is Jackson Pollock?’, I strongly suggest that you do. It details Biro’s investigation and the reaction of art experts to the findings and presents everyone’s views–believers and naysayers alike–fairly without judgement or prejudice. If you find the movie at least half as engaging as I did, the 80 minutes will just fly by.)

    My big issue with the art ‘experts’ who’ve looked at Terri’s Find is that they ignore forensic evidence (hello, does ‘hard science’ not mean anything to elitists?) in favor of trusting their own instincts and impressions. In the real world, a forensics expert who presents evidence such as prints and DNA to ID a body would win out over the say-so of someone who just looked at the same body and say it’s someone else because they got the wrong vibe from it. To a person with an ounce of education and sense, empirical evidence should trump feelings of ‘rightness and wrongness’ any day of the week, but these so-called experts obviously live in a different reality than sensible people.

    There is definitely horse pucky in this story, but it’s not Terri’s painting; it’s what the art snobs are full of.

  12. Donald, I think Koons and Hirst will still be around in 50 years. My crystal ball says 100 years might see their selling power evaporate though ;-)

    And Freud is ageless. Alien invaders would LOVE him..lol His paintings will be of value for as long as theyre still in existence.

    Also, did you mean you will go down winning or whining Donald?..lol

    Tinman, it’s possible to plant hairs and fingerprints on paintings. Like it or not, instincts and expertise plays a big role in authenticating a painting. We’re not dealing with a dead body, it’s a painting that can easily be tampered with.

    I have no opinion either way, but just from what I have read about the story, I would guess it isnt a Jackson Pollock painting.

  13. Donald Frazell says:

    Nah, goin down swiging, and taken a few fools with me. Tahts how I have always stayed healthy,m been in many rather unsavory quarters of America, but one look tells vultures I aint no easy mark. They may get me, but at least one of them is goin with me. I am not afraid of death, not living is what frightens me. And how so many can accept that so easily REALLY frightens me, especially when its artitist, who are supposed to be the guardians against such things. Sell outs.

    And I dont care who painted what, is it a good painting or not? if it works, if it triggers feelings of vastness and being part of more, then its wortha buck or two. It its just same hyped anme fool, who gives a damn? Every produces crap, much of Picassos work was garbage, just sketches and studies, or works that didnt work out, happens when you experement as well as sell out. $$$ aint everything, self respect is. You can die and get a huge funeral because you are respected, but you cant take $$$ with you. I want a huge funeral, though I will be tossed over te cliffs of Montana de oro. Party on baby!! Let the good times roll.

  14. Correct me if I am wrong, but didn’t they have a hard time authenticating this painting since Jackson Pollock’s estate stopped verifying his paintings? So will the owner still get the $50 mil they are predicting?

  15. The The Pollock-Krasner Foundation website says they don’t authenticate works, but I havent seen the “Who the F*** is Jackson Pollock?” documentary, so I don’t know the full story.

    It’s on tv in my area this weekend though, so I might be watching it.

  16. i’ve seen the documentary and do believe the forensic evidence. from what i have seen, i would doubt that the owner tampered with the painting, she was selling it in a garage sale when a local art teacher said it looked like a pollock. if i was on a jury and presented with the evidence and witnesses, i would have to side with science.

    unfortunately, art is a commodity and not everyone buys it for the sheer pleasure of enjoying it.

    for another interesting story on art, money and media…


  17. Maybe Tim Horton’s would offer Ms. Horton some stock options, and give the painting a permanent home at one of their flagship coffee shops!
    – Urban Flute Project

  18. She sems like a stubborn old coote to Me!
    Even if it is a Pollock, is it a good One?
    Not to My eye it isn’t.
    It also lacks prov’ so any-one paying Top Dollar is taking a huge chance.
    She was offfered a reasonable price for it but now, with so many Dealers, Galleries and what-not ALL getting a share IF it sold “Top Dollar” she’ll still get less than the $9 Mill a Saudi Prince offered a few years ago.
    I bet her kids can’t wait till she throws off her mortal coil andf they can get what it is really worth. Not the Inflaterd “T-D” price she feels the world owes Her!

  19. I believe I saw that painting at a church junk shop in Montreal. There was a second one mostly on white background, it was the same type of the blackish one. I picked up the black one and it was wobbly as the canvas was lose. The white one was prettier. I had no idea who Pollock is. I am wondering if she will suddenly show up with the white one.

  20. HOLD ON! I AM Jackson Pollock and Teri Horton has one of my paintings. It’s not one of my favorites, but I did paint it on a bad day. Leave the woman alone and give her the money. People have paid a lot of money for worse paintings of mine. Now I’m going back to bed.

  21. I am an artist myself and also create abstract art. I believe art is valued at whatever the buyer wants it to be since everyone’s taste differ.

  22. Anonymous says:

    My friend’s great grandfather lived in Le Midi, France. He owned no less than five Picasso originals in the 1920′s. He ended up trading them for a few goats and cough medicine. True story…his name was Nino Salvaggio.

  23. Jeff McGinnis says:

    This painting had a finger print on the back of it. It was studied by one of the top men in the “Fingerprint” field. The same finger print was on one of Pollocks paint cans and also found on another authenticated Jackson Pollock painting. For the art community to declair this painting a fraud, is fraud in its own right. Art experts say they have found many fraudulent documents associated with once “Authenticated” paintings. If this painting had a well done fraudulent document instead of an authenticated fingerprint… what is this world comming to? Please watch the documentary, its now on “Instant view” at netflix. One person in the documentary who claimed the painting to be a fraud said something along the lines of “Couldn’t fifty people have that same fingerprint…I don’t know”. Thank you for reading.

  24. Anonymous says:

    This subject passe? It jogged a few bad memories for me, seeing that documentary. I was in the artworld in the 70s and dropped out in the 80s. What a travesty. I forgot how sleezy the artworld is. Mark Rothko was right, the money people destroyed the art world. I ended up cheering for Terry. Play the vultures game and get your meat. I love Pollack, but this painting didn’t work for me. Hopefully someone will love the painting and have a big purse to pay for it.

  25. Anonymous says:

    I’m betting that if the art snobs thought the painting was found in some rich person’s attic, they would have been a lot more likely to think it was genuine. They just can’t bring themselves to think a trailer park mama found a real Pollock in a thrift store.

  26. At the end of the documentary it was said that someone offered her ( Teri) 9 million Dollars, for the alledged Pollack, funny that was not enough to put her ” ghosts” to Rest. How much is enough? I know she doesn’t have a spare million laying around, must be the principle of it all, not going for the 9 million. She is not getting any younger and I think 9 Million would keep her in the black for her remaining years. I really think she is just greedy, like the Art people in the film she is in, the only difference is they are rich and she is poor. If she is fool enough to not get a sure 9 million, she deserves nothing at all.

  27. if teri would sell that painting for 9 million to the saudi art collector.you better believe as soon as she cashed the check the painting would be authenticated and the art world would celebrating.”couldn t 50 people have the same fingerprint….i dont know”what an idiot!self-serving dialogue to appear super intelligent.they dont care about art.besides-that painting is atrocious.pollock was a no talent.his work doesn t move me.his story isnt even remotely interesting.i dont blame teri for turmimg down the offer.the mystery is more exciting that the artist and his work.

  28. Jackson Pollock’s brother used to live near the shop where Teri bought the painting. That is how the painting made it to California, Pollock gave it to his brother.

  29. What is not generally known, interestingly enough, is that, in one of the fingerprints found upon Teri’s $5 purchase which received great speculation as to whether it was, indeed, a Jackson Pollock original, was found minute traces of blood; microscopic amounts, however, sufficient for analysis. Perhaps a slight abrasion or something similiar caused the digit responsible for the fingerprint to bleed, although its source is unknown, and, in all actuality, irrelevant. What is most relevant is that the trace amount of blood was present, and has been compared to a sample taken from one of routine catalogued blood tests which Pollock had undergone in the course of a normal medical history periodically. The results of this comparison proved conclusively that the DNA is IDENTICAL; this match virtually assures us that Teri’s $5 purchase is, in fact, a legitimate Jackson Pollock painting. The odds of Pollock having, for some reason, touched another artist’s painting for any reason are extremely low, if any possibility for this exists at all. As such, Teri’s find is without question a Jackson Pollock ORIGINAL. If the painting is sold through a gallery at a set price, then the price shall be no higher. However, what this may or may not do for a potential auction price remains unknown unless the painting was removed from private sale and placed for auction. It could, however, potentially cause the selling price to far exceed the current amount being asked for the painting. A price of $50,000,000 could easily exceed $100,000,000, depending upon world market demand at the time of a potential auction

  30. Tell ya what..I honestly haven’t even heard of this till a couple days ago when I rented the DVD Documentery regarding said story.

    I’ve had in my possesion for close to 20 years a simple painted on cardboard “home-made” mask that was given to me by an uncle. He “picked it up” from a lawn party he attended in the 50′s while time spent in Spain.

    It is supposedly made by Picasso.
    Cut and drawn up in a whim just for laughs on a lazy afternoon.

    I think it’s marvelous and have never “snotted” on about it at all. Never been even interested in looking closely into it even.

    Such as it should be. More Beautifull that way. As far as this Painting…..I hope it never gets resolved and always remains avail. for all to see it as it is,was,could be…or never will be.
    Beauty as is Belief….. is all in the beholder.

    My 2 cents.

    (true story btw…)

  31. Anonymous says:

    how do you “tamper” with fingerprints?!? seriously! how do you fake a fingerprint? it can’t be done! the fingerprint matched 3 others that were known to be authentic. i studied art for 9 years and saw a huge pollock exhibit at the moma in 1999. have seen the real thing up close and studied them intensely. he is one of my heroes…and that’s totally irrelevant! maybe it doesn’t “feel” or “sing” like a pollock, but how can you argue with a 3x perfectly matched fingerprint?? even if it is only partial, it would be impossible to fake. GO TERRY!!!!!

  32. Anonymous says:

    If Terry had accepted the 9 mil, that’s like admitting it could possibly be a fake. In her eyes it is real beyond the shadow of a doubt, so why would she accept the 9 mil when it’s clearly far more valuable? then, not only do the pompous, art scumbags win, but she’s also a sucker. A person in possession of a true Pollock would be a complete idiot to sell it for a mere 9 mil. For her it’s not about the money, it’s the principle of the matter, and I don’t blame her!

  33. for me Jackson Pollock is best painter in the world ….because what he done its to good……most of peoples they cant understand his painitng but…am also same mean same like Jackson Pollock believe me guys.

    i missing you jackson

  34. Anonymous says:

    If you want to know how fingerprints can be faked, read this article:



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