On a good day I get a quick half hour for lunch which lately I have begun to spend with an artist. Today it was David Hockney. I was looking at Hockney’s Portraits and People by Kay Heymer, a truly fabulous book for the wide-ranging portrayal of techniques and diverse quality of works, giving us a thorough understanding of the development of this man.
“Hockney treats the people in his pictures as actors in a scheme reaching beyond biographical or psychological narration.”
I find his portraiture fascinating with its symbolism, experimentation and simplicity. Earlier this year an Art Everywhere poll placed his 1977 portrait ‘My Parents’ as the U.K.’s favourite painting. It is a heartfelt painting where Hockney is exploring the behavioural habits of his parents with typical nods to art history and our cultural past. The criticism that his Royal Academy exhibition “A Bigger Picture” drew, for the gaudy colours and rough paintwork, was not shared by me, for it was these very traits that exemplified all that I love about Hockney. The wild colour, the incessant, enthusiastic energy and the sometimes childlike interpretations speak to me. I want an exuberant artist who follows their instinct and believes that painting is not dead.