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
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 Amazon.com. Watch an excerpt now: