United Kingdom • born in 1937
David Hockney (eng. David Hockney, b. July 9, 1937) Is a British artist who has lived in California for most of his life. Born in a working class family, but from childhood was fond of painting. He writes his most famous “sunny” paintings after moving to the USA. Invents new techniques and experiments with styles. In 2001 he published the book "Secret Knowledge", where he revealed the secret of the realism of paintings of the Renaissance.

Features of the artist David Hockney: Hockney's most popular pop art paintings feature pools with bright blue clear water. Many of the artist's works are done with almost photographic realism. In addition, Hockney invented his own technique for creating photo collages from hundreds of small photographs taken from one point.

Famous paintings by David Hockney: “Portrait of the artist (Pool with two figures)”, "My parents", "Peter is getting out of Nick's pool.", "Mr. and Mrs. Clark and Percy", Pirbloss Highway, Tall Trees Near Worth.

David Hockney has a favorite joke. A man comes to the doctor and asks what he needs to do to live as long as possible. After several questions about the lifestyle, the doctor concludes: “You need to stop drinking, smoke, refuse fatty foods and sex.” The man in horror asks: “And then I will live longer?” The doctor replies: “No. But you will definitely think that this is so. ”

In the case of David Hockney, this joke sounds especially funny. The artist is considered one of the most popular painters among the living. And at the same time, Hockney never denied himself anything: neither in love, nor in bad habits, nor in entertainment. True, after he crossed the milestone of three quarters of a century, he had to give up alcohol (although he replaced it with ... medical marijuana), but even at an advanced age, Hockney did not quit smoking and repeatedly stated that he was always open for new love adventures.

Exactly the same - enthusiastic, tireless experimenter - David Hockney has always been in his work. And it is her who he calls the main love of his life. Even as a real old man by some standards (but not by his own), he continued to look for new ways to create and share his work with people: drawings on electronic gadgets, multimedia screens, video installations ... Nobody would be surprised if sooner or later Hockney began to show the public pictures from the future.

Starting point

All people in the world can be conditionally divided into two types (as it is now fashionable to say anything): those whose fate is controlled by chance, and those whose life is ruled by predestination and purpose. David Hockney with full confidence can be attributed to the second category. His life and career were built on such a perfectly direct vector that even strong shocks could not affect them, not to mention minor accidents and troubles.

The future artist was born on July 9, 1937 in the family of Kenneth and Laura Hockney (he was the fourth child of five). David's parents were strong-willed people who stood out from the rest of the decent English Bradford residents. Although Laura was a strict Methodist and tried to raise children in accordance with her religious beliefs, she was also a convinced vegetarian, which at that time was quite rare. Kenneth Hockney did not fit into any framework at all. He participated in anti-war campaigns and during the Second World War became a “conscientious objection”. According to the artist, it was his father who taught him in any situation to remain himself and not pay attention to what others are saying. Hockney recalls that Kenneth was a real dandy: he always wore costumes tailored exactly to his standards. And, having reached a certain age, the artist laid aside fancy glasses and fancy outfits in order to put on a tailor-made suit and admit that nothing could be better thought of.

The artist’s family is often called Puritan and God-fearing, but Hockney himself once described her as “A family of radicals from the working class”. It is not surprising that such unusual parents gave birth to such a son as David. As a child, he was passionately in love with opera, and in his Sunday school lessons he painted caricatures of Christ, which infuriated teachers. At school (one of the best in the country), he simply ignored all subjects except painting lessons, and on the rest he drew caricatures in notebooks. Oddly enough, his rebellious nature did not prevent the school leadership from discerning the boy’s talent, and he began to make comics for the school newspaper.

The Imaginarium of David Hockney

In his youth, David understood that in England he did not belong. The country, apparently, was not yet ready to accept the young artist with all its versatility and scope of imagination. While studying at the Art School of King's College London, he felt at home for the first time, but quickly absorbed all the necessary knowledge and skills and almost stopped paying attention to teachers. Then Hockney began for the first time to talk about his sexual orientation ("We two boys together clinging", 1961). But the artist finds true freedom only after moving to the States.

David fell in love with California landscapes as a child, when his father took him to a movie. The artist recalled how he was struck by the fact that in Hollywood films people and objects cast such thick shadows (in mostly cloudy England he did not see this). After finally moving to California in 1966, Hockney finally begins to see and write truly vibrant things. It seems that the sun is not outside of his paintings, but directly inside them. And then in the artist’s works, especially on the famous canvases with pools and showers, his admiration for beautiful male bodies is fully manifested ("Peter is getting out of Nick's pool.", 1966, Sunbathing, 1966). “I lived among bohemians, and these people have always been tolerant. In addition, I decided that if I want to be an artist, I have to be honest, ”- Hockney will explain his courage.

After moving to America, Hockney is fond of photography. He does not part with the camera, and often uses polaroid images as sketches for future paintings (in particular, the famous double portrait was written "Mr. and Mrs. Clark and Percy", 1970-71, and the picture “Portrait of the artist (Pool with two figures)”, 1972).

In the 70s, Hockney invents a new technique for working with photographs. Armed with a camera, he takes many pictures of the same landscape, interior or person and creates amazing collages from them that look more like paintings (Pirbloss Highway, 1986, "Still life with a blue guitar", 1982, Patrick Proctor, 1982). The artist calls them "Joiners" (eng. joiners).

Continuing to experiment with techniques and travel around the world, David Hockney once makes an unexpected discovery, which has been the subject of debate between art historians and historians for many years. In 2001, the artist released the book "Secret Knowledge", on the basis of which the Air Force channel in 2003 made a documentary. In this work, Hockney tells what really is the secret to the realism of the paintings of the Renaissance: painters discovered mirror projections using Camera Lucida and Camera Obscura. In the film, the artist reinforces the words with deed, first reproducing on the canvas a chandelier from the painting by Jan van Eyck "Portrait of the Arnolfini Couple" (1434) and then copying "Portrait of Pope Innocent X" (1650) Diego Velazquez.

To be continued…

We can say that in the life of David Hockney was everything. World fame, freedom of expression, bohemian revelry and a variety of extravagant antics. Great love with Peter Schlesinger, which brought equally happiness and suffering, but glorified Hockney even more. And finally, creativity in the most incredible forms: drawings using faxes and photocopiers, scenography, paintings from paper pulp ...

It would seem that after 70, the artist could very well quietly sit by the pool in his California house and dictate memoirs to a pretty assistant. However, even in old age, Hockney does not lose enthusiasm and does not slow down, moving all along the same vector.

For eight years, the artist again settled in England - in his own words, missing the rain. During this time, he manages to create a grandiose-sized canvas Tall Trees Near Worth (2007), master digital painting using the iPhone and iPad, get the title of the most influential artist in the UK and arrange a grandiose solo exhibition “A Bigger Picture”, in which out of 398 paintings, almost a third were painted in 2013 alone.

And this despite the fact that in 2012, Hockney suffered a blow, after which his hearing began to rapidly deteriorate. And a few months later, one of the artist’s assistants committed suicide in his house. After all these traumatic events, Hockney decided to return to California again. His studio has a supply of drinking water and cigarettes in case of an earthquake, and he has nothing more to desire. Life goes on while the artist has the opportunity to draw. “Picasso once said that when he draws, he again feels 30 years old. When I work, I can spend six hours in a row on my feet. When I draw, I feel like Picasso. I feel like I'm 30 ".

Author: Evgenia Sidelnikova
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