David Hockney’s exuberant work is highly praised and widely loved, but he is also something else: an incisive and original thinker on art. In this remarkable book, a record of a decade and a half of conversations with art critic Martin Gayford, Hockney reveals via reflection, anecdote, passion and wit the fruits of his lifelong meditations on the problems and paradoxes of representing a three-dimensional world on a flat surface. Their conversations are punctuated by wise and witty observations from both parties on other artists, and enlivened by shrewd insights into some of the diverse people Hockney has encountered along the way.
This updated and expanded edition follows the preparations for the successful ‘A Bigger Picture’ exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in 2012, the works done subsequently in Hockney’s native Yorkshire and his return to Los Angeles in 2013. Visiting him there, Gayford depicts both the sitter’s and the artist’s world as he has his own portrait painted by the artist.
Indulging the reader throughout by sharing Hockney’s sense of humour, Gayford finishes the book commenting and chatting with Hockney as he paints works depicting people in movement: dancers and jugglers. In his quest for a bigger and better picture of the world, Hockney remains very busy: ‘I don’t have a diary because it’s always full already,’ he tells us.