PHOENIX — Jackson Pollock spent nearly all of his youth in Arizona and California. He even left a tiny bit of himself in Phoenix, close to what is now Sky Harbor International Airport.

The 20th-century artist, internationally known for abstract, splatter and "drip" paintings, became a sensation in the New York art world starting in the 1940s until his death in 1956.

So how is it that one of Pollock's paintings might have found its way into a Sun City attic?

Josh Levine, owner and founder of J. Levine Auction & Appraisal LLC, said that he received a phone call from a Sun City resident, asking his firm to look at Los Angeles Lakers memorabilia that was signed by longtime star Kobe Bryant.

What they found in addition seemed to be a proverbial treasure chest of 20th-century modern art, including works that appear to be created by Kenneth Noland, Jules Olitski, Cora Kelley Ward and Pollock.

Did he have a Pollock in hand? The possibility captured Levine's interest. Knowing how common fraud is in the art world, he says he spent more than $50,000 on forensics reports and private investigators to trace the lineage of the piece.