Hockney embraces technology

David Hockney
David Hockney

IN a rare interview, world famous artist and Bridlington resident David Hockney has talked about what attracted him to the town.

Mr Hockney, 73, was interviewed for the Sunday Times Culture magazine at the weekend.

In the interview, the artist describes Bridlington as being in a “time warp”, stopping dead somewhere around 1955 – a fact he likes because it keeps people away.

Mr Hockney’s mother and sister moved to Bridlington in the 1980s.

One of the other reasons he moved here from California was the light.

He said in the interview: “The light was so marvellous in California, that’s why Hollywood is there. They can film throughout the year and it is 10 times brighter there.

“On the other hand – what I missed – and it dawned on me slowly – was the seasons and the big changes from the winter to the spring.”

The interviewer, Bryan Appleyard, who travelled to Hockney’s home, describes Bridlington as a “decayed, shabby seaside resort” with “an amusement arcade called Roxy, outside which stand pale, pimply youths holding fags under their palms”.

“Even the North Sea seems reluctant to come here,” he added.

Mr Appleyard was taken to Mr Hockney’s nearby, 10,000sq ft studio, where the artist demonstrated how he is embracing technology by using the Apple iPad to create new pieces of artwork.

The iPad – a cross between a mobile smartphone and a laptop computer – has an application on it that means anyone can ‘paint’ on the iPad’s screen.

Using this technology, Mr Hockney has created numerous original pieces of work – which can instantly be emailed to friends across the world.

The pictures can be extracted from his iPad and blown up to gallery size.

A recent exhibition of his work at The Foundation Pierre Berge-Yves Saint Laurent in Paris featured nothing but his iPhone and iPad drawings.

The devices were displayed on the gallery’s walls with constantly changing images of Mr Hockney’s pictures – which range from a drawing of the Eiffel Tower to a bowl of oranges. He often paints the first thing he sees on a morning.

Another way Mr Hockney has embraced technology can be seen in his Jeep, which has been fitted with a rig holding nine high definition cameras, which feed video to a small nine screen monitor in the back seat.

He explained how he drives twice at 5mph up Rudston Road, the artist’s favourite country lane – once with the rig pointing to the left, and again pointing right.

The images are captured at different times, some half an hour apart, others six months apart, and are shown on 18 screens.

An exhibition of the nine camera works is planned at the Royal Academy in January 2012.

Appleyard describes the results of the work as “breathtaking” and says that they made him feel as if he had never seen a tree before.