Hockney plays with perspective at LA exhibition

LOS ANGELES: From his classic 1967 Los Angeles pool scene “A Bigger Splash” to his interpretations of Yorkshire forests, British artist David Hockney has always injected the world around him with a vibrant palette, most recently in a study of perspectives.

“David Hockney: Painting and Photography,” opening this week at the LA Louver gallery right near Venice Beach, features acrylic paintings and photographs that play with spatial effects and vanishing points.

“Thirty years ago, I did a Vogue for Paris using these ideas,” the 78-year-old Hockney told Reuters, “but it’s only with digits [digital] that you can really take off, and I only just realized that two years ago.”

The 28 works in the collection were done by the artist over the past two years, since he moved back to Los Angeles.

The paintings echo the photographic collages that were created using software to seamlessly blend hundreds of photos depicting people mingling and socializing in Hockney’s home studio, surrounded by tables, chairs and his artworks.

Technology has always played a key part in Hockney’s works, from his 1986 “Pearblossom Hwy,” a composite shot of a California highway created using hundreds of photographs of the scene, to a collection of iPad sketches of Yorkshire’s forestry, displayed in 2012’s “A Bigger Picture” exhibition in London.

“The technological change is enormous now,” he said, “enormous, and people haven’t quite got it yet.”

The Yorkshire-born artist, who said he mainly confines himself to his Hollywood Hills home due to his poor hearing, said he’s still inspired by Los Angeles, a city he first moved to in the 1960s that has influenced his vibrant color palettes.

“The light here is marvelous,” Hockney said. “It’s a lot better than England. I don’t go out much but there’s a reasonably sophisticated city down the hill.”

Hockney is one of Britain’s most influential artists. His works are a hot commodity in the art market. Earlier this month, his “Arranged Felled Trees” sold for 3.4 million pounds in London.

Hockney said he has found himself working more than ever now, painting his Los Angeles garden and portraits. He has completed 65 works so far. “They all sit in the same chair. They all just sit down and I let them sit down, and they all sit in different ways.

“I’ve plenty to do working in portraits like this,” he observes. “I could go on for an awful long time.”

“David Hockney: Painting and Photography” is up at the LA Louver gallery through Sept. 19. For more, see

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on July 20, 2015, on page 11.




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