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David Hockney at the Tate
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Since he burst onto the art scene in the mid-Sixties, David Hockney has become one of the most popular and successful British painters of the Twentieth century. His reputation has been made both by the appeal of his work and his passion for and skill in talking about painting. To mark his fiftieth birthday in 1988, London's Tate Gallery staged a major retrospective of his work. Melvyn Bragg joins Hockney for an exclusive private view of the exhibition and they are seen discussing pieces from all stages of Hockney's remarkable career.
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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.
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.