Who the *&^% is Jackson Pollock?

Ransom Riggs

That was what Teri Horton, a now-retired truck driver from California, said when a friend suggested that a painting Horton had bought at a garage sale looked like the work of the uber-famous artist. That was more than 10 years ago, and by now, Horton most definitely knows who Jackson Pollock is. That's because the painting she paid only $5 for -- knocked down from $7 -- may well be an original Pollock, and in this hyper-inflated art market (in which David Geffen just sold a Pollock masterpiece, "No. 5, 1948," for $143 million), she's pretty sure her modest investment will pay off royally.

But how do you pick out a Pollock from the paint-dribblings of a hyper-active decorator? Simple: forensic science. Despite being pooh-poohed by the glitterati of the art world ("She knows nothing. I'm an expert. She's not," art jerk and supposed forgery expert Thomas Hoving said), fingerprints found on her painting have been shown to match a fingerprint on a can of paint that Pollock used, as well as another fingerprint on one of Pollock's masterworks hanging in London's Tate Gallery.

Time to cash in? Not quite. First Horton was offered $2 million, which she flatly turned down. More recently, a Saudi art collector offered her $9 million for the painting, but Horton -- who's living on social security checks -- claims she won't sell for less than $50 million. For now, she's become a minor celebrity (and star of a new documentary, Who the *&^% is Jackson Pollock?), and is "enjoying the ride" according to the film's producer.

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