I was so hollow when I was young, trying to fill a hole I didn’t even understand existed, never mind groking its depth. Not like David Hockney. He had so much to say at such a young age. Even his early paintings seem evolved; aware of how to express his voice, his sexual proclivities, his desire for the sunshine and lightness and magnificent colors of California’s rainbow, the need to escape the heavy gray sameness of 1950s and 60s Britain. Occasionally I’ll see a child in a passing stroller and know exactly what that child will look like as an adult; features, eyes, dim-witted or sharp of mind, soulful or unburdened. No doubt, Hockney was born with the large round spectacles that adorn his blocky head, the face of a wise and patient owl.
The paintings detail his everyday life: shaggy pile carpets and burning cigarettes, the fold of a trouser and a sidelong glance, the flutter of an LA palm, the hues of the English countryside and the curated jumble of the its gardens, the wrought iron railings of France, the wealth of his collectors, the love of exotic and erotic travel, the admiration for men and the lust for stocky boys in swim trunks diving into crystalline pools. Perhaps that is the greatest gift an artist can offer: creating a world of empathy by offering a glimpse into their interior life.
Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy, 1968
#davidhockney #england #art (at Tate Museum)