Finding Yourself: David Hockney (Part III)


Every child has creativity and an urge to create. As we get older, this creativity may slowly disappear, or we can choose to develop it. It’s about finding and keeping that childlike spark in you. At times, David Hockney reminds me of Peter Pan. His obsession with creating, eagerness to explore new mediums and technology, and expressing his work in bright, cheerful colors.


“When I’m in the studio, I feel like I’m 30. But when I leave it, I know I’m 80.” 


Hockney’s journey with technology started early, with a simple polaroid camera. It happened when he discovered a roll of film someone had left in his house. He placed the film into a polaroid camera and magic began. One polaroid soon evolved into a multitude of collages, then using fax machines, colored photocopiers and even car stereo systems!



An important turning point in Hockney’s life and practice was Apple’s iPhone release in 2007. He was one of the pioneering artists that validated the iPhone (and later, iPad) as an artistic medium. To Hockney, the iPhone wasn’t just a phone, but a compact sketchbook that he could carry around with him. With the Brushes application, he was able to experiment with different visual effects that he couldn’t on canvas, such as chronicling the subtlest transitions of a sunrise.


The Arrival of Spring in Woldgate, East Yorkshire in 2011 © David Hockney


When the iPad was released three years later, Hockney was able to create more elaborate artworks. Most importantly, the iPad allowed scalability. He created many of his most important and powerful works by enlarging digital drawings onto paper, and mounting them on Dibond. This included scenes of his home county, East Yorkshire, and the Yosemite Valley in California.


 The Yosemite Suite © David Hockney. Photo Éric Simon


Through the development of technology, Hockney revitalised his work and created pieces that may have otherwise been unheard of. While knowledge of history and traditional mediums are important, it’s also incredibly important to keep an open mind and embrace human and technological development. That’s also how you grow as a person and keep up with the next generation! 


Exploring Art with David Hockney


Read Finding Yourself: David Hockney (Part I)

Read Finding Yourself: David Hockney (Part II)