Sunday, 8 January 2012

David Hockney

I watched 'Countryfile' on the BBC tonight with interest.  David Hockney was giving us a sneak preview of his upcoming exhibition at the RA, much of it based around the East Yorkshire countryside.  Ellie Harrison introduced him as 'Britain's greatest living artist'.  That is a statement open to argument. Whilst Hockney is a superb draughtsman, is his work 'greater' than the subtle, painterly, yet utterly perfect work done by Ken Howard, David Curtis or Peter Brown?  I see no subtlety in Hockney's work, but a rather brash, unsubtle, lurid display of colours in his landscapes.  For me, the painters mentioned above have to work harder to attain the mesmerising quality of their work, but that's personal.  I would like to think that I have an inside, more qualified opinion as a professional painter, than the average Joe, but others may disagree.

I do agree with Hockney's attack on artists who don't actually create their own work, - a thinly veiled side-swipe at Damien Hirst, the darling of the installationists, who thinks of the idea but gets others to actually put the idea into reality. 

"It's a little insulting to craftsmen, skilful craftsmen." Hockney went on to say "I used to point out at art school, you can teach the craft, it's the poetry you can't teach.  But now they try to teach the poetry and not the craft."  He quoted a Chinese saying, that to paint, "you need the eye, the hand and the heart. Two won't do". Bravo!

Hirst himself has defended using assistants to make his spot paintings, saying they could do the work better as he found it boring to paint them himself. That says it all does it not? 


  1. I also watched countryfile and as a pure novice I wasn't impressed. Each to his own though. Ve

  2. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder-sometimes I think Art is a big con! Everyone to their own.

    I like your kind of art.

    1. Thank you anonymous - you obviously have impeccable taste!


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