by Alexa Dalby
Hockney is the definitive biography of Britain’s most influential and popular contempory artist. For the first time, David Hockney has given access to his personal video and photo library which spans the decades of his long life from the house he grew up in in Bradford, to his new life as a blond in sun-drenched California, where he painted his swimming pool pictures and portraits, and his return to Yorkshire where he now lives and paints the wolds, using nature as a means of reaching infinity.
“Everybody looks,” he says, “but it depends how hard you look.” Throughout his life, he has been a superb draughtsman and artist, but also constantly embraced the potential of new technology, from photocopier to stage set, and now to painting on the Ipad, constantly reinventing how he sees the world. People from his portraits morph into life as interviewees – among them Wayne Sleep, John Kasmin, Celia Birtwell. His sister Margaret comments perceptively. The documentary is shot in Hockney colours – bright California acrylics and earthy Yorkshire tones. Now 77, he has grown from young artist exploring his sexual identity in his work and the new freedom of gay expression in the seventies to national treasure talking about himself and his work with dry wit and humour – sometimes cantankerous, always original.
Hockney is showing on Oct 9th & 11th at the 58th BFI London Film Festival