Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Eccentric Talent—David Hockney

The weather in San Francisco has been up & down lately. Last week we had a heatwave, and then this past weekend we had extreme lighting and thunder. It was a bit gloomy on Sunday and it made Mr. Peacock long for the color and exuberance of the artist David Hockney.

As a design student in the late 80's, Mr. Peacock had a workshop with Mr. Hockney at the International Design Conference in Aspen (above). There were no more than 20 of us (all students) sitting in a circle with Mr. Hockney. Design icon Mr. Milton Glaser moderated and hosted this 2-hour talk session held outdoors in the round.

Above: "Mr. and Mrs. Clark and Percy", 1970-1, acrylic on canvas. David Hockney painted this portrait of his friends the fashion designer Ossie Clark and fabric designer Celia Birtwell. She was a model and muse for Mr. Hockney for many years.

Mr. Hockney was talking very softly and I couldn’t focus on what he was saying—because I couldn’t take my eyes off him! I guess I was a bit star-struck sitting just a few feet from this eccentric and talented icon.

Above: "Peter getting out of Nick's pool", 1966, acrylic on canvas.

Mr. Peacock was staring at every detail of his attire from his bleached hair to his mismatched brightly solid colored socks with suede Bucks. His appearance seemed a bit disheveled at first glance, but at a closer look he was very elegant and put together—like an slightly wrinkled tuxedo shirt.

Above: "Self portrait with Blue Guitar", 1977 (you can get a poster here).

Mr. Hockney chatted with me and my pal Allison for a moment—and kindly signed a book for me. The book is nowhere to be found at this moment (I also had more photos that I stuck inside the book, for safe keeping). I’ll post them later, if I find them. Allison and I felt liked we had touched greatness—and were so inspired!

This is what Mr. Hockney looked like when I heard him speak. His blond hair had a few cowlicks poking about, with large eyeglasses framing his sparkling blue eyes.

Mr. Peacock loves this photograph by artist Peter Schlesinger (Hockney's longtime friend) of Cecil Beaton and David Hockney—notice the mismatched colored socks!

Mr. Hockney’s art pals included Andy Warhol (above 1976)—and peacock Derek Jarman.

He was born in England in 1937. The allure and lifestyle of California drew him to Los Angeles in the 1960’s—eventually moving there in the 1970's.

David Hockney starred in this quasi-documentary, A Big Splash, in 1974 after his break-up with Peter Schlesinger. He plays a painter who’s lost his will to create after an emotional breakup.

David Hockey’s signature look of blond hair, large glasses, and bright colors and patterns (stripes, polka dots) is as iconic and colorful as his large body of artwork.

Another Man magazine paid homage to David Hockney’s iconic style using model and stylist extraordinaire, Gary Card, wearing the highlights from the Spring 2008 mens collections.

Mr. Peacock loved the layout, but would have liked to have seen a lit cigarette somewhere (he still smokes), and some mismatched colored socks...and maybe a dachshund! He did his series on his beloved dogs.

David Hockney has returned to England and his new work is as dynamic as ever—graphic landscapes (working on a piece above).

Sadly after he painted this painting...

...the trees were cleared.

In 2008 he donated his largest painting to date, "Bigger Trees near Warner" (40 ft x 15ft), to the Tate.This amazing painting is comprised of fifty canvas panels, and was created outdoors, en plein air.

David Hockney is still a dapper gentleman with a sparkle in his blue eyes. Mr. Peacock admires the polka dot pocket square he's wearing above.

Above: At the Tate, he answered fan questions sent in on Twitter.

What impresses Mr. Peacock most about this talented 72 year old gentleman peacock is his enduring desire and commitment to create art, learn (and use) new technologies, and his general curiosity and love of life. Thank you Mr. Hockney!


David Toms said...

I love David Hockney! My mother went to art college with him in Bradford England in the late 1950's, and David used to design all his own Christmas cards. My mother stll has one (framed of course) and it is so different from what we know as Hockney's style! Truly an elegant gentleman!

Scott Fazzini said...

What a fantastic post! I'm madly in love with the graphic landscapes!

Nicolette said...

He is such a talented artist. It's great to see good nature prints.



One of my favorite artist/personality! Oooh...would love to own his 'pool series'... Let's continue to dream*


jezebel said...

The photo of Beaton and Hockney is now lounging on my desktop. Thanks Mr. P.!

pve design said...

Have you ever seen his menus?
I met an artist in NY that has them....incredible.
love his style....