The painting was created on fibreboard, also known as composition board, measuring 8’ x 4’. For the paint, Pollock chose to use liquid paints. More specifically, they were synthetic resin paints (gloss enamel) but are referred to as oil paints for classification of the work. On inspection it was grey, brown, white and yellow paint drizzled in a way that many people still perceive as a "dense bird’s nest"
According to a report in The New York Times on November 2, 2006, the painting was sold by David Geffen, founder of Geffen Records and co-founder of DreamWorks SKG, to David Martinez, managing partner of Fintech Advisory Ltd, in a private sale for a record inflation-adjusted price of $140 million. It is speculated that Geffen sold the painting, along with two others, to raise enough funds to bid for the Los Angeles Times. The sale was reportedly brokered by Sotheby's auctioneer Tobias Meyer, however, the law firm of Shearman & Sterling, LLP, issued a press release on behalf of its client, David Martinez, to announce that contrary to recent articles in the press, Martinez does not own the painting or any rights to acquire it. In addition to the refutation issued by Shearman & Sterling, the auction expert Josh Baer indicated that Martinez was not the buyer of the painting.