Painter Jackson Pollock, dubbed “Jack the Dripper” by Time magazine, was both admired and influential, but did he work for the CIA?
Not exactly. However, the CIA did use abstract expressionism as part of Cold War propaganda aimed at the Soviet Union. In the ‘50s, American critics were encouraged to contrast the “freedom of expression” represented by Pollock’s work with the grim social realism associated with the European art scene. The political goal was to promote a cultural shift, making New York, not Paris, the epicenter of the art world.