Can we say it: David Hockney is a good photographer? Yes we can.
Last weekend I have been to the exhibition of David Hockney at Tate Britain. David Hockney is one of these artist that can be as disappointing as marvelous. I have been disappointed by his most well known piece “Portrait of an Artist (Pool With Two Figures) (1972)”:
It’s printed everywhere in small format, even on Tate’s flyers. Everywhere. thing is it looks impressive when small as really photo realistic but it’s total different story when you face the single piece which is 84×120 inches on the wall . It’s like falling into a zoomed-72-DPI-image-pixelized universe!
On another hand I have been amazed by the artist photographic skills. This has been a really inspiring experience to enter in that room filled with photo montages among which the portrait of Billy and Audrey Wilder above and the Scrabble game which in my opinion is less aesthetic and more experimental:
There is the story behind the piece:
“The Scrabble Game was done when my mother was visiting at Christmas. Ann Upton, David Graves and my mother played. I joined in too, though I couldn’t concentrate much on the game because I was taking pictures. It was while I was doing this piece that I saw that I was using narrative for the first time, using a new dimension of time.” – David Hockney
The details I loved to see were (1) the cat licking his face lost in boredom and (2) the words that each opponent of this game found and how the expression of their faces relates to it in terms of confidence and struggle. On the right side you can see David’s mother, confident, setting the ‘VEX’ word for 26 points while Ann looks like struggling to earn 3 points with the ‘NET’ word. This denotes the observer qualities while taking the shots to seize that particular moments and the post-process intelligence of composing with these images so that the flow of the moment is still present in the final result.
Another thing I loved was the paintings done on iPad, they left me speechless, contemplating the time-lapse of the work in the final stage of the exhibition was a nice proper final dot. By the way, I recommend you to get a Tate membership if you like both Tate Britain and Tate Modern in London, you will make your money worth it… and you will eventually skip a 200+ peoples queue by getting there earlier for a members only opening. Just saying.