David Hockney shares his views on superstar artist Damien Hirst in the lead up to his own ‘A Bigger Picture’ Exhibition

January 12, 2012 on 5:21 pm | In Art Exhibitions, Contemporary Art, Damien Hirst, David Hockney, Famous Artists, Landscape Art, Sculptures | No Comments

‘David Hockney RA: A Bigger Picture’ is an exciting new exhibition set to be showcased at The Royal Academy between the 21st January and the 9th April 2012. The large scale walls are to project to us, the audience, Hockney’s fascination with landscape that has spanned over 50 years.



(David Hockney, ‘Woldgate Woods, 21, 23 & 29 November 2006′, 2006.
Oil on 6 canvases – One of the Hockney’s many landscape pieces
to feature in his Royal Academy exhibition: A Bigger Picture)

Remarkably, many of the huge works to be seen in A Bigger Picture “wouldn’t have existed unless the Royal Academy had asked me”, Hockney tells us. He explains that it simply wouldn’t have been feasible for him to work on such large projects by himself without being equipped with gigantic walls to do the pieces justice.

Throughout his press releases, the emphasis on creating works by his own fair hands and only his hands was raised due to certain note placed in front of some of his creations. The note reads: “All the works here were made by the artist himself, personally.” Upon being quizzed about the note, David Hockney was asked if it was in reference to artist of the hour, Damien Hirst, to which he responded with a simple nod. Hockney made it very clear that he strongly disapproves of artists who employ others to work on their own creations, as “It’s a little insulting to craftsmen, skilful craftsmen.”



(Left: David Hockney RA. Right: Damien Hirst. The two English superstar artists have both recently aired their opposing views on the use of assistants to create works of art)

Damien Hirst’s ‘For The Love Of God’; a human skull entirely encrusted with diamonds proved the case in point for Hockney, as the superstar artist had London jeweller Bentley & Skinner work on his creation. Hirst has on numerous occasions poorly defended his use of assistants by remarking that they could do a better job on something that he finds tedious to do himself. Or to use Hirst’s more eloquent choice of words, “I couldn’t be fucking arsed doing it”.



(Damien Hirst, ‘For The Love Of God’, 2007)

The platinum casted human skull sculpture is encrusted with 8,601 diamonds. It was part of the Beyond Belief exhibition held at the White Cube Gallery, and eventually sold for an astonishing £50million. This is the largest sum ever paid for a single work by a living artist, and is therefore the very reason Hirst’s use of assistants has caused such controversy.

The words spoken by Hirst contrast starkly to the beliefs of David Hockney, who in a recent interview used the Chinese proverb to convey his passionate views on both art and the artist: “you need the eye, the hand and the heart. Two won’t do.”



(David Hockney, ‘Bigger Trees Near Water’, 2007. Hockney’s biggest ever
creation is made up of 50 canvases, and measures up to a whopping
total of 15ft by 40ft; of which every inch was created by his
own fair hands)

There is no doubt that the combination of 74 year old Hockney’s eye for detail, creative hand, and artistically passionate heart will make for a wonderfully personal exhibition that portrays the artist’s love and admiration for his native Yorkshire landscape. A true leader of creators!

Thanks,

Adam

Useful Links:

The Royal Academy – ‘David Hockney RA: A Bigger Picture’

David Hockney – Biography

Tate Collection – Damien Hirst

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