The Context: Teri Horton

Everybody knows a fairy tale starts out, ‘Once upon a time’ but a truck driver’s tale starts out ‘You ain’t gonna believe this shit.’ – Teri Horton

Teri Horton with her painting on a promotional piece for the the documentary about her journey.
Teri Horton pictured with her painting on a poster promoting the documentary about her journey.

Bakersfield Mist is loosely based on the true story of Teri Horton and the painting she found in a thrift store. Here is a little more about the true story that inspired the play:

In 2002, long-haul truck driver Teri Horton bought a painting for $5 at a thrift store. She got it to cheer up a friend who was depressed, but it wouldn’t fit into her friend’s house. The two discussed shooting the painting, but ultimately did not. Horton ended up setting the painting out at a yard sale where a local art teacher told her it might be a Jackson Pollock.

Horton set about to authenticate the painting, a journey documented in the 2006 film Who the #$&% is Jackson Pollock? Disappointed by the rejection of the elite art community, Horton sought out forensic experts to help authenticate the painting on the basis of a thumbprint and the chemical make up of paint flecks.

She received a $2 million dollar offer from an unnamed buyer and later a $9 million dollar offer from a Saudi buyer. However, she has refused to sell the painting for less than $50 million, because she believes it to be a Jackson Pollock.

The story has been further complicated by the artist Francis Hogan Brown, a drip painter who creates work in the style of Pollock. He has said that the painting might be his, but that he would need to see it to confirm whether it was his work or not.

The art community is still divided on the authenticity of her painting.

The full documentary Who the #$&% is Jackson Pollock may be rented via Watch an excerpt now:






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One Response to “The Context: Teri Horton”

  1. Gary Blumenshine

    There are many experts on the life and work of Jackson Pollock in the field of Modern Art History. They teach in colleges and universities, or work in galleries. A small committee of five or six such folks should review her painting and confirm it as an authentic Pollock or one by a contemporary imitator. If the vote is split,it should be made public.