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David Hockney Portraits Hardcover – March 28, 2006
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This current book DAVID HOCKNEY PORTRAITS is, for this reader, the most sensitive presentation of Hockney not only as an artist but also as a tender, feeling, caring human being. The book accompanies an exhibition soon to travel and includes over 250 examples of Hockney's view of his family, himself, his friends - famous and not so famous-, lovers, and pets. The result is a survey of Hockney's people-oriented works over the past fifty years.
Included are early pen and ink drawings from the 1950s, gentle and simple line portraits of his mother and father and himself, and progresses to the development of his large-scale paintings of life size portraits of family, lovers, and self-portraits. Many of the people depicted in these works are no longer alive and there is a sense of memory in some of the works that barely hides Hockney's sadness at their parting.
The book also opens the door to Hockney's experimentation with photography as an art medium, with several of his multiple view Polaroid collages of a single 'sitting' telling more stories than a movie. And after Hockney's excursion into that medium the portraits turn to painting his subjects from life.Read more ›
I do like Hockney in general even though he is a much more cerebral artist than I prefer.
I did not read the story behind each painting/drawing because that's not what I'm interested in. But if one must read about a painting to enjoy it then somethings missing.
The only work I really enjoyed was #100 of his mum. The drawings seemed much stronger than the paintings (to me) and some I've liked in the past seemed missing from this book (or maybe I'm imagining that).
I know it's not my place to tell Mr. Hockney to let go and get a little emotional but that's what I feel looking at the portraits. Restrained, inhibited, arms length, surface not depth.