He was born in Cody, Wyoming, and later moved to New York in 1929, where he studied under Thomas Hart Benton. Pollock moved away from figurative art, and developed techniques of splashing and dripping his paint onto canvas (action painting). Pollock was dubbed "Jack the Dripper" due to his painting style.
Pollock's career was cut short when he died in a car crash in 1956.
He was the subject of the documentaries Jackson Pollock (1987) and Jackson Pollock - Love & Death on Long Island (1999) as well as a movie drama called Pollock starring Ed Harris. The earlier ten-minute documentary Jackson Pollock (1951) was directed by Hans Namuth and had music by Morton Feldman.