Veteran pop artist David Hockney took to sketching with the iPhone and iPad a few years ago, using his fingers to brush out works that he sent daily to friends and family.
Hockney’s works brought a new sheen to art on Apple’s devices, making them more than just instruments for amateurs. His forthcoming show which includes the digital works at San Francisco’s de Young Museum will have so many works, curators can’t even count them.
When answering a question about whether he’d ever heard from Apple, the award-winning artist gave a verbal shrug:
“[They contacted me but] I didn’t react. I just keep a little distance from it. I’m sure I must’ve sold some of their stuff for them…I think they were just interested in what I’d done on it. People can do some things crudely but not many people can be very subtle with it. I see that now. It’s a new medium.”
Hockney says he’s never lost any of his digital works, because he prints every single one of them out. He got started when he took up a drawing app and then realized he’d done 300-400 sketches on his iPhone. Then the iPad came out and he thought “Well, drawing on this will be better because it’s a bit bigger.” Hockney added that he has printed some of the drawings nine-feet high from iPads.
The Q&A interview is well worth a read. With all the botox-pumping-veggie-eating-downward-dogging sanctimoniousness about aging today, the position of the 76-year-old on mortality is reinvigorating.
“My attitude is this—this is why I smoke—life is a killer, we all get a lifetime and there’s only now. I believe that it’s not so easy to live in the now. I mean, most people live in the past, don’t they? Monet died at age 86. So it didn’t matter if he smoked or drank or whatever, he had something to do and he’s going to do it. Well, I have something to do and I’m going to do it.”