If you’re in the Western Hemisphere this year, chances are you’ll run into David Hockney, the colorful 80 year old producer of equally colorful work.
He had a show at the Royal Academy in late 2016, is at Tate Britain until late May, will have openings at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, Ca’ Pesaro in Venice and the Getty in Los Angeles in June, and in November will be at the Guggenheim Bilbao in Spain and the Met in New York. He’s even the “point of departure” for SFMOMA’s upcoming show, ‘Side by Side: Dual Portraits of Artists‘.
Hockney looks and feels like an original which has gone a long way to building his brand. He never fit into London’s traditional art scene – he was sneaking pictures at the National Gallery when that was a big no no (so next time you get pinched for taking a picture in an exhibition just say Hockney did it) – and headed off to Los Angeles where “in California anyway I start using brighter colors”. He dyed his hair blonde when he heard in a Clairol commercial that blondes have more fun, and – while more flamboyant with those oversized, round frames on his nose that accompanied his smoking habit – listen to him talk and he sounds like a member of the Beatles.
The paintings he’s produced are unmistakably Hockney and they’re a nice dose of color for the rest of us. Barry Humphrey described having “deliberately dressed in Hockney colours” for his portrait by the artist. Big blue skies, pools of water you can look on, through and into, and colorful landscapes that remind the viewer that “our eyes never stay still. If your eyes are still, you’re dead”.
He even extends his idea of perspective to photography which is pretty cool and original. He saw the single perspective in traditional photography as a weakness, creating collages of photos that together make up the same scene from several different angles.
So if you’re in or heading to London, Paris, Venice, Bilbao, Los Angeles or New York this year, David Hockney would like you to stop by!