Sunday, 8 January 2012

David Hockney, Britain's greatest living artist

This week's Radio Times cover enthuses something along the lines of 'Exclusive free postcards from Britain's greatest living artist David Hockney'. The four postcards are of the same scene in each of the seasons, all drawn by his finger on an iPad.

I have no right to criticise David Hockney, but they're just completely shit. If your ten year old had produced them you'd smile politely and delete them when they weren't looking. I'm not a fan of his style but I wouldn't ravage his proper work - I just don't understand why, after becoming successful at something, you should be not only allowed to get away with producing shit, but celebrated for it. Here are some different examples of his iPad artwork. It's absolute balls. Would it be acceptable for him to create a portrait by dipping his finger in acrylic and wiping it across a canvas? It shouldn't be. It's lazy. He slates Damien Hirst - quite fairly - for getting others to produce his work, but spending twenty minutes waving his cock over a capacitive screen is hardly leading by example.

I'll leave you with a painting I did on my phone (with my finger). Sensible offers in the comments please.


Ben said...

Well he's no Anthony Hopkins, that's for sure:

Simon said...

He was on Countryfile last night in the Yorkshire Wolds with his iPad. Quite interesting really, he's got some sort of capacitive stylus thing that he uses to draw with (not his finger), some of the pictures were good. I think it's more that he's capturing the changing light and colours rather than any great artistic detail.

What was more interesting was his filming of the same place with 9 cameras picking out different details across the seasons. Made me want to go and see the full display with the high res screens, worth a look on iPlayer if you missed it Graham.

Graham said...

Ben - the value of a piece of art is almost entirely dependent on who produced it, rather than an objective appreciation of the work. That's what annoys me.

Simon - I agree that he's interesting - I saw a documentary he did on the use of primitive projection devices in hisorical portraiture which was engaging. I just don't rate his work.

If he's using a stylus for his iPad that's even worse - after all, no one can draw properly with their finger. I may check out the programme though, just to be fair.

Anonymous said...

I just Googled, 'David Hockney's art is crap' thinking I was the only one who thought so. I was, until I came across your piece, so thank you.

Derek said...

You have every right to criticise him, and yes, let's be honest - his work is shit.

Anonymous said...

Im about the same age as David now I am positive he has gone senile.

Peter Pascal said...

I went to a contemporary art fair in Shanghai recently, which was a real eye-opener. Chinese contemporary art
has come leaps and bounds from the watery Zen landscapes to huge canvases of strange-looking beings. The
prices being asked and paid were huge too.
Oriental, if not Chinese, my print of Jean-Léon Gérôme's painting,,
bought some time ago from, is as lovely as ever.