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!



Useful Links:

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

David Hockney – Biography

Tate Collection – Damien Hirst

UK Government Art Collection: ‘At Work’ – new Whitechapel Gallery Exhibition

June 13, 2011 on 5:40 pm | In Art Exhibitions, L.S. Lowry, Tracey Emin | 1 Comment

For the first time in its 113 year history, art from the Government’s collection is currently being exhibited in the Whitechapel Gallery, East London.

I Wonder What My Heroes Think of the Space Race by Derek Boshier (painted in 1962)

The exhibition titled ‘Government Art Collection: At Work’ displays the varying traditional, historical, and contemporary artworks that hang upon the walls of numerous political buildings throughout the worlds cities, and inspire Governments at work. This collection consists of pieces chosen by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Lord Mandelson, former Business Secretary Dame Anne Pringle, Lord Boateng; former Government Minister and British High Commissioner to South Africa, and the Prime Minister’s Wife; Samantha Cameron; to name but a few.

Lord Mandelson

The idea for this Government Art exhibition was the brain child of Culture Minister Ed Vaizy, who thought it an interesting idea to share the government’s unique and extremely large collection of art with the public. Vaizy explained how covering embassies and government office walls with art was cheaper than continuously redecorating, as a lot of the art owned by the Government was either donated, or in some cases purchased before artists would gain wide recognition (and therefore a lot more money) for their work.

Margate 1 Sand (2006) by Tracey Emin

Samantha Cameron has indicated how she is a fan of contemporary art and artists such as Tracey Emin. The Government Art Collection (GAC) bought two prints by the controversial and much talked about Emin, costing them a total of £14000; an amount that didn’t pass by without criticism. Other contemporary artworks purchased by the GAC also include David Batchelor’s Walldella VI; a sculpture made up of low energy light-bulbs and old plastic bottles.

Lancashire Fair: Good Friday, Daisy Nook (1946) by L.S. Lowry

L.S. Lowry is another artist that features at the Whitehall Gallery, as his piece titled Lancashire Fair – Good Friday, Daisy Nook was personally selected by Samantha Cameron to be shown as a part of the At Work collection. This quintessentially English piece usually takes pride of place at Number 10 Downing Street.

The free exhibition will tour Birmingham and Belfast and will run until the end of 2012



Useful Links:

Guardian Article
Telegraph Article
Whitechapel Gallery

The National Gallery: Set to reveal Leonardo da Vinci Exhibition

May 13, 2011 on 3:00 pm | In Art Exhibitions, Famous Artists, Leonardo da Vinci | 1 Comment

The National Gallery are set to hold what promises to be the most popular exhibition ever seen in the UK. The exceptional exhibition will feature several of Leonardo da Vinci’s rare works that the London gallery have managed to secure through a series of international loans. Some of the pieces will be travelling from galleries situated in Italy and others from France; many of which have never been seen in the UK before. By miraculously making seven Da Vinci loans a possibility, The National Gallery will feature the most complete series of da Vinci works ever seen.

Leonardo da Vinci, Madonna Litta. c 1490-91.

Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan is the official title of the exhibition. It is to be held from the 9th November 2011 through to the 5th February 2012. This showing doesn’t concentrate of Leonardo as a draughtsman or an inventor. Instead it concentrates on Leonardo solely as a painter; delving into the skills and techniques used by this fascinating artist, and his pursuit for perfection seen in his representations of the human form. The exhibition particularly concentrates on the works created by Da Vinci through the late 1480’s and 1490’s, as this was the time period da Vinci spent as a Court Painter to Milan’s ruler, Duke Lodovico Sforza.

Leonardo da Vinci, St. Jerome. c 1480.

In order to make the three month exhibition as enjoyable as possible, The National Gallery intend to limit visitor numbers. To combat the possibility of over-crowding, the gallery will only allow 180 visitors to enter each half hour, instead of the usual 230 that is in accordance with the galleries’ Health and Safety regulations. However, knowing that tickets with be in high demand, the gallery will aim to avoid disappointment by introducing later opening times of a Friday and Saturday evening.

Leonardo da Vinci, The Last Supper. c 1498.

The final, and perhaps most exciting part of the exhibition, is the full-scale copy of da Vinci’s world famous ‘ The Last Supper’. This marvellous piece that will be on loan from the Royal academy will be seen alongside the preliminary drawings of this piece created by the very hands of Leonardo. Alongside this, visitors will get to discover how this grand-scale painting was intricately designed and accomplished by the fascinating man and artist that was Leonardo da Vinci

Related Links:




Last call for the Gabriel Orozco exhibition at the Tate Modern

April 10, 2011 on 2:06 pm | In Art Exhibitions, Gabriel Orozco, International Artists, Videos | No Comments

The famous Mexican artist’s work is available to view at the Tate Modern and this is the largest collection seen in the UK, with over 80 pieces: photos, paintings aswell as sculptures.

Enjoy this 10 minute documentary narrated by Gabriel

Having opened on 19th January 2011 you now have just over 2 weeks to see the exhibition before it closes on Monday 25th April 2011.

‘Cats and Watermelons (1992) by Gabriel Orozco’
Tins of cat food placed on top of watermelons inside a supermarket

Gabriel likes to challenge that all ‘Serious art’ has to be ‘serious’ and he is known for simply grabbing things, trying stuff out and creating art with what he finds in front of him; he does that at home, on the road or wherever the moment takes him, perhaps that its why his art is so inventive & inspiring for me.

‘La D.S.’ (1993) by Gabriel Orozco’
A Citreon motorcar sliced into 3 long ways pieces, then placed back together minus the mid section

thank you


Useful links
Tate Modern’s page
Daily telegraph review by Richard Dorment
Gabriel Orozco’ Wikipedia entry

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