You don’t often get a look inside the mind of an artist like David Hockney. Not only is he a huge contributor to the pop art movement, he is also considered one of the most influential British artists of the 20th century. This video, from 1980, features Hockney talking to Fran Morrison for Newsnight. From how California makes his work feel brighter and broader to his illicit stunts taking photos at the National Gallery. In fact, even the snapshots he took at the National Gallery look like works of art. You get a feel for his irreverence, for his authenticity, for his lack of intimidation at the often stiff and formal artwork of the time. But more than anything, you can see him as a draftsman. Talking about his models, his work, his inspirations — when he says “I assume the best work is yet to come”, you wonder how much better could it possibly get.
But now we know, that even for decades after this video was taken he was still all about the work. “I don’t go out, I hardly ever leave here,” he told Time Lewis a few years ago, then in his 70s. “I go out to the dentist, the doctor, the bookstore and the marijuana store, because you have to go to each of those yourself. And that’s it. I never go out because I’m much too deaf really. I can hear you now, but if there were two people speaking quite quietly, I wouldn’t be able to, because I hear everything in one noise. So I don’t really have a social life much, because a social life is talking and listening and I can’t really listen. But it’s fine, I’ve lots to do, I’m OK.”
To get a behind-the-scenes look at this art icon, you can watch the whole video here:
It’s a great look at man whose years are still golden — and a reminder why his works are such treasures.