For a while, during some of my youth, I wished I was a bit older, or really, that I could have been born a bit earlier and could hang out with the likes of David Hockney and his world. When I was a tiny bit older, about 17, I was delighted to be the age I was and could still admire the world of his,. He was part of a world I could look at. The world of Ossie Clark, Celia Birtwell, Andy Warhol, Chelsea (on both sides of the pond), rock music, Bianca Jagger and countless other cool things beyond me. But at least I knew they were cool. I would hang out at the ICA and watch Warhol films that were long performance pieces.
A friend got me into the Kazan film ‘A Bigger Splash’ at the Screen on the Green. I admired the California colours and the beautiful people. I have just got it on DVD a couple of days ago and am blown away by it. Daring, bold, before its time and a London so empty and so bedraggled. Kasmin, Ossie Clark, Celia Birtwell and others that set the whole thing going.
His art has had a various fascination. Some of the early works I loved and then I grew out of love with his works. I went back to my true loves, Rothko and Mondrian.
The show at the Tate rekindled a love. It was great to see so many people there, including Bianca Jagger. But it was also great to see art-world people there, not just fans, as he is so popular, but people you would not think would like his work suddenly admitting to loving it, as if it was a bit embarrassing to love something popular. Out of the woodwork they came with their tales of David Hockney.
The early works- many of them are sublime. The ‘water’ works are tender or just creative. The middle period is a bit varied. Then he comes home to Yorkshire and those works, as most of them, are much better in the flesh than reproduced.
The show, apparently has already sold 25,000 tickets so I am very pleased to have gone to a (packed) opening night.
If you have a chance, go see it. There are some incredibly bold, innovative and beautiful pieces there. A man who just hit the floor running and kept going. Humbling and wonderful.