RTL Today – “Photographs are very boring”: for David Hockney, confinement was a natural blessing


British artist David Hockney has always been a workaholic, so his months of confinement in France were a welcome opportunity to devote himself to nature observation.

“I really like watching,” the dapper 84-year-old told AFP.

“If you look at the world, it is very beautiful. But you have to be clear-headed and there are a lot of things that keep you from looking.”

Hockney was speaking to AFP at the Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris, which presents the astonishing fruits of this period in an exhibition, “A Year in Normandy”, which opens on October 13.

He presents a 91-meter-long frieze made up of some of the 220 images he took during the strange year of loneliness in 2020.

It is a clear nod to the masters of the 19th century landscape, in particular Monet, who lives in some of the adjoining rooms of the museum.

“When the lockdown happened I didn’t mind at all,” said Hockney, 84, resplendent as never before in her round-rimmed glasses and plaid suit.

“We were in a secluded place and I was working every day because there were no visitors. Visitors put me off, embarrass me.”

All of the drawings were done on an iPad, which has become her favorite way to make art, far more so than the photographs that were once so central to her work.

“I’m really out of photography now,” he said.

“Everyone is a photographer. Everyone has a cell phone in their pocket, they can all take pictures. Photographs are very boring.”

He loves drawing on the iPad, which frees him from the paraphernalia of ordinary painting.

“It’s a new technique. I don’t think there are a lot of people doing it,” he said.

– ‘You cannot cancel Spring’ –

The vibrant colors of the Normandy countryside are a perfect fit for Hockney, who made a name for himself with sunny California scenes in the 1960s.

Although known for his jet-set lifestyle, sartorial elegance and large following of friends, he has always been an industrial worker and was delighted to have time to devote himself to nature, which has become his main muse in recent years.

“They canceled the Olympics, but you can’t cancel the spring,” he said with a mischievous smile.

“On the first day of our arrival in Normandy, we watched a wonderful sunset over the Seine estuary. We had the clarity of Van Gogh.”

He rejects the idea that landscapes are no longer an interesting subject for art.

“Nature is the source of everything. When I went to Yorkshire 16 years ago people said you can’t paint a landscape today.”

“The performances got boring, that’s all. You have to make them a little different – and that’s what I tried to do.”


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