Hockney on Hockney
H. F. Corbin | ATLANTA, GA USA | 04/21/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In 1988 the Tate Gallery in London did a major retrospective of David Hockney's work to coincide with his 50th birthday. In this all-too-short (it is less than an hour long) video, Melvyn Bragg and the artist talk about several of his paintings and photographs that span his entire career, beginning with an early portrait of his father (painted in 1955 and the first painting he sold although he later bought it back for sentimental reasons) and ending with a portrait of his mum shortly before the exhibit opened. Mr. Hockney's comments about his mother's unhappiness because he included her arthritic hands in the picture struck a chord with me as my own mother felt the same way about her hands. Of course children always think their mother's hands are beautiful.
While one does not have to like an artist to admire his work, it certainly doesn't hurt if, when you see him up close, you like him. That was my reaction to this artist. I liked him immensely, finding him warm, funny, unpretentious and apparently without a pedantic bone in his body.
One picture may be worth a thousand words, but Mr. Hockney's explanation of what he was attempting to do in the large scale-work "A Visit With Don [Bacardy] and Christopher [Isherwood)," (1984) certainly made me understand and appreciate the painting in a way that I probably would never have gotten on my own. (He was showing a different perspective in each section of the painting, where a neighborhing house appears and reappears, so that the viewer gets a feeling of walking through the home with the artist.)
Other Hockney gems: He fell in love with the poetry of Walt Whitman early in his career as seen in the 1961 painting named after a Whitman poem "We 2 Boys Together Clinging," on his first visit to California he found the place three times better than he had imagined, and something pretty can be just as serious as something beautiful.
This video should appeal to Hockney fans as well as make converts. It left me wanting more.
...from ArtsyFartsy News, October 2008
Robert Burridge Studio | 01/25/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A few years ago we viewed the elaborate Hockney exhibit of paintings at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. It was awesome! Huge paintings and a large variety of smaller portraits mesmerized us with his original point of view and paint handling.
After exiting the exhibit, we went right back in again to look a second and a third time. I was also taken with the fact that David Hockney is alive today - a living master showing his work in a major museum.
This DVD, David Hockney at the Tate, has Hockney walking around his major retrospective at the Tate, talking about his work. It is enlightening and delightful to listen to him discuss his work - from the earliest portrait of his father to his most recent work. How often do we get an opportunity like this? I was very much moved by this successful painter.
A must-see DVD and a must-have if you are interested in hearing a master artist discuss and describe his work in person."