David Hockney Celebrates Love of Tech Exhibiting iPad Works

The legendary artist likes to reach for his iPhone at night to make work.

David HockneyA bigger card players (2015). Photo courtesy the National Gallery of Victoria

David Hockney, A bigger card players (2015). Courtesy the National Gallery of Victoria ©David Hockney

British Pop Art legend David Hockney has spoken about his love of technology, as seen in new works shown in his “Current” exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria, which features works made using an iPad and iPhone, as well as film and photographic drawings.

Also on view as part of “Current” will be Hockney’s largest ever painting to date, comprised of 50 panels at a length of 12 meters. Bigger Trees Near Warter (2007) is a work depicting many trees in Hockney’s native Yorkshire in England.

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David Hockney, Self Portrait, 25 March 2012, No. 3 (1236)(2012). Courtesy the National Gallery of Victoria ©David Hockney.
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Untitled, 91 (2009). Photo courtesy the National Gallery of Victoria
David Hockney exhibition “Current”
David Hockney, Untitled, 91 (2009). Courtesy the National Gallery of Victoria ©David Hockney
David Hockney, Untitled, 655 2011 . Photo courtesy the National Gallery of Victoria
David Hockney exhibition “Current”
David Hockney, Untitled, 655 2011 (2011). Courtesy the National Gallery of Victoria ©David Hockney
David HockneyA bigger card players (2015). Photo courtesy the National Gallery of Victoria
David Hockney exhibition “Current”
David Hockney, A bigger card players (2015). Courtesy the National Gallery of Victoria ©David Hockney
David Hockney The group XI, 7-11 July 2014 (2014). Photo courtesy the National Gallery of Victoria
David Hockney exhibition “Current”
David Hockney, The group XI, 7-11 July 2014 (2014). Courtesy the National Gallery of Victoria ©David Hockney
avid Hockney, Barry Humphries, 26th, 27th, 28th March 2015, (2015). Photo courtesy the National Gallery of Victoria
David Hockney exhibition “Current”
David Hockney, Barry Humphries, 26th, 27th, 28th March 2015, (2015). Courtesy the National Gallery of Victoria ©David Hockney
David Hockney Self Portrait, 25 March 2012, No. 3 (1236)(2012). Photo courtesy the National Gallery of Victoria © David Hockney
David Hockney exhibition “Current”
David Hockney, Self Portrait, 25 March 2012, No. 3 (1236)(2012). Courtesy the National Gallery of Victoria ©David Hockney.

The enormous exhibition contains around 1,000 works in total including a series of 82 portraits of family and friends.

“There are 82 of them,” he explained. “I did each one in two or three days. People came to the house. They enjoyed it, I enjoyed it as well,” Hockney told the art’s program 7:30, at the Australian national television network ABC.

“When I began drawing on an iPad I loved it,” Hockney said. “I thought it was a terrific medium. Everything is at your finger-tips, there is no cleaning up. I realized I could just reach for my iPhone and draw, even in the dark, which you couldn’t do with watercolor or something,” he added.

Due to the act of drawing directly onto an electronic tablet, the actual drawing process is recorded and will be played on screens at the show, so people can see Hockney’s gestures executed in real time.

Hockney is now 79 years old and partially deaf so doesn’t go out so much, yet his dedication to his work is as strong as ever, which he believes is a common trait among painters.

“Painters can admire hedonism but they can’t really be a hedonist themselves. They are workers, aren’t they? I will go on working till I drop. That’s what I will do. I have no intention of giving up,” he said.

David Hockney’s “Current” will be on view at the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia, from November 11 – March 17, 2017.


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