David Hockney was a guest on Q (a CBC Radio One show) a few weeks ago talking about his iPad art with Jian Ghomeshi. A few things he said really struck me. The first was when he was asked if he thought the screen would replace the canvas. He said that he hated the screen, that it was like looking into a void and that he preferred rooms without any T.V. at all. I guess I had a notion that he was so tech savvy and forward thinking with his art that he would be against anything “old-fashioned”. I’m comforted that he is more like-minded to myself than I had thought. I’m not really surprised that I would identify with a 74-year-old man, though I really shouldn’t have been surprised that he as an artist would still value real paintings over technological gadgets, and flower still life and sunrises as subject matter.
Another thing that struck me was when he was asked about accessibility not being a motivator with his iPad art. (Early on in the interview he had said that the biggest motivator for his iPad drawings was that they were gifts for his friends. That that was why he did them and that was why he kept doing them, but that is primarily what he saw them as). He responded that he doesn’t really care about being accessible, that he just wants to work quietly. That made me happy—I am not quite as backwards as I thought.
What he said about a “shift in power” was also very interesting; about how technology is bringing power to people through the control and distribution of imagery. David Hockney compared it to the centuries when the church was in power, but I went to a lecture here in Calgary two months ago where Calgary artist Jeff de Boer was talking about technology moving the shift in power from the commercial galleries to the artist. Both David Hockney and Jeff de Boer called it a revolution. These are exciting times to be an artist indeed!
Here’s a link to the podcast of the interview if you’re interested (the David Hockney section starts at about 29 minutes in):