Subscribe to our newsletter

(Credit: Far Out / Alamy / Lluís Ribes Mateu / Gandalf's Gallery)

Art

From the mildly erotic to the lightly illogical: Exploring the art of David Hockney

“Always live on the ugliest house on the street,” David Hockney once said, “then you don’t have to look at it.” Thus, it seems fitting that recently the Yorkshire artist produced a collection of works titled My Window where he finally put the frame in shot as he gazed out at the world.

In truth, his art has always had that voyeuristic sense. It is a childlike peer out at the curious and colourful world. Rich with the reverie of simply putting colour on canvas the charm of creation puts road signs at 60-foot tall when the slapdash perspective is considered, but who cares?

And who cares about capturing the waves of a pool when the real story is some nude fellow lazing in the distance? An art teacher maybe, but then can go check out Jeremy Lipkin’s brilliance for that. There’s room for plenty of varied brushstrokes in the artistic pond. That is the unique appeal of Hockney, in some ways. He is venerated by galleries but can also enamour the attention of a five year old.

Nestling somewhere between the vivid innocence of youth and the glossy filter of reminiscence, his work conjures up thoughts of the vistas from road trips gone by, pop-riveted into the imagination of memories warped by time. Beyond that sentimentality, and perhaps above all, Hockney’s work is undeniably fun.

The Taschen collection of his work, simply titled Hockney, delivers a beauteous snapshot of “Hockney’s restless interrogation of perception and representation, we witness the mellow sheen of light on a muddy Yorkshire puddle, the ochre enormities of ‘A Bigger Grand Canyon’, the rustic majesty of ‘Bigger Trees near Warter’, and, of course, ‘A Bigger Splash’, with the exquisite sparkle of a turquoise pool beneath an iridescent California sky.

“These major paintings are joined by the artist’s drawings, photo-composites, multi-perspective collages, stage designs, multi-camera video works, and iPad drawings, each a panoply of looking and showing in different styles and media.”

From his humble beginnings in Bradford, where he was born in 1937, through to his residencies in Malibu, California, and everywhere else, the book – much like his work itself – is a journey through life. Ever evolving but always keeping the same key tenet of the fun of bringing colour to life, his work displays his own vigorous view of life: “Laugh a lot. It clears the lungs.”

You can find out more about Hockney’s work and pick up your own copy of Hockney by clicking here.

The artwork of David Hockney:

(Credit: David Hockney / Taschen)
(Credit: David Hockney / Taschen)
(Credit: David Hockney / Taschen)
(Credit: David Hockney / Taschen)
(Credit: David Hockney / Taschen)
(Credit: David Hockney / Taschen)
(Credit: David Hockney / Taschen)

Follow Far Out Magazine across our social channels, on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.