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.
This just in: RetromacCast reports on another variation of iPhone art, this time a large framed replica of an iPhone. Created from individual iPhone app coasters, RMC co-host James initially suspected a force of iEvolution at work but was pleased to learn this was a 40th birthday gift from his wife. Famed Banana Jr creator (and RMC co-host) John assisted with framing details like the home button and speaker.
Wisely, they didn’t attempt to create a white model. Full photoset on Flickr, coasters from Meninos.
Veteran pop artist David Hockney has been demonstrating his passion for creating works on his iPhone since he started fingerpainting on one six months ago.
Turns out Hockney first got his hands on an iPhone one a year ago, when he grabbed it from Lawrence Weschler, writer and director of the New York Institute for the Humanities at New York University.
Weschler interviews Hockney about it what reads like a 1,528-word love letter to the iPhone for the New York Review of Books.
There’s been a lot on the 72-year-old’s use of the iPhone, not so much about how he gets the mini-masterpieces on touch screens.
Hockney’s technique? He doesn’t finger paint as much as thumb paint those flowers and landscapes he sends to friends daily.
Hockney limits his contact with the screen exclusively to the pad of his thumb. “The thing is,” Hockney explains, “if you are using your pointer or other fingers, you actually have to be working from your elbow. Only the thumb has the opposable joint which allows you to move over the screen with maximum speed and agility, and the screen is exactly the right size, you can easily reach every corner with your thumb.” He goes on to note how people used to worry that computers would one day render us “all thumbs,” but it’s incredible the dexterity, the expressive range, lodged in “these not-so-simple thumbs of ours.”
Brushes is Hockney’s app for painting on the iPhone — though a footnote to the story says the latest upgrade released in August is not to his liking and he continues to use the earlier version.
Interestingly, Hockney doesn’t think the art created is so great, once it’s off the device or a screen:
“Though it is worth noting,” he adds, “that the images always look better on the screen than on the page. After all, this is a medium of pure light, not ink or pigment, if anything more akin to a stained glass window than an illustration on paper.”
If you’ve been inspired by David Hockney’s iPhone paintings or the New Yorker cover, you know that doodling on your device can be more difficult than it looks.
At least if you want results that don’t completely suck.
Enter a blog called fingerpainted.it, headed by freelance web designer Benjamin Rabe. He and a band of 11 creatives, including prolific iPhone artist Matthew Watkins, share tips, artwork and tutorials.
The how-tos show just how much dexterity and thought go into these mini-masterpieces; Luis Peso’s demonstrative cat sketch in the above Layers app tutorial has about seven steps.
A lot of the art is done with the Brushes app, but artists use a variety of tools including Layers, Jackson Pollock, Kandinsky Lite, Photofx. The tutorials show you how to start with Kandinsky, move to Pollock and end up with something entirely different, like this vibrant iPhone work by Patricio Villarroel.
While there are plenty of places to ogle iPhone art — flickr groups especially — fingerpainted seems to give the most info on how to get from art-icapped to art.
In a move that’s a bit like thumbing his brush at the lawyers who sent a nastygram when we mistakenly reported David Hockney’s gallery artworks were created on his iPhone, the artist is offering free downloads of three wallpapers made on his device.
Artist David Scott Leibowitz — whose impressionistic works for the iPhone were recently featured on CoM — teamed up with developer Andrew C. Stone for an app billed as the first mobile iPhone art gallery.
Called iCreated, the app ($.99 for the first week, $1.99 after that) comes preloaded with 18 works by Leibowitz. Other artists, like Russ Croop, who like to use the iPhone are also featured — and all of the works tell you what was used to make them, should you want to try your hand. Users can upload their own doodles to the public gallery and save or email them.
While the iCreated selection can’t trump sites like Poolga, which offers hundreds of slick wallpapers from designers and illustrators gratis, compared to some paid iPhone wallpaper apps it offers a little push to try some art of your own and share it.
So if you’ve downloaded Brushes, were inspired by the New Yorker cover, now’s the time to get busy.
After Jorge Colombo’s iPhone art was featured on the cover of the New Yorker, it seems everyone wants to get their fingers in the pie.
The Brushes app Colombo used to finger paint a late-night scene in Manhattan sold 2,700 copies when the cover debuted Monday, earning slightly over $13,000. It usually sells around 60-70 copies a day.
“A painting app seemed like a natural fit for the iPhone,” 32-year-old Brushes developer Steve Sprang told the NYT Bits blog. “You’re touching the screen, so it’s a natural step to want to draw on it.”
Sprang said the results dwarfed when Brushes was chosen as the app of the day on iTunes and that the app had sold 40,000 copies to date, earning him six figures.
If you’re itchy to get busy with fancy fingerwork, Sprang has knocked the price down a buck, to $3.99, in honor of the New Yorker cover.
UPDATED: It seems that David Hockney doesn’t like what he reads on Cultomac.com. We received an aggressive letter from Hockney’s lawyers demanding we remove the pictures posted here (which were copyright the Annely Juda Fine Art gallery); and correct an error: Hockney didn’t create the paintings on his iPhone, but on his desktop computer. David – we apologise for the error and are usually very careful and respectful of copyrights, but we were just trying to draw attention to the exhibition, not rip off your art. No need to sic the lawyers on us. We’re fans. I have a Pearblossom Highway print hanging in my house (which I paid for, btw). — Leander Kahney.
We wondered whether iPhone art was gallery ready, perhaps it took grandad of Pop art 71-year-old David Hockney to convince those who put art on the walls for a living that the output was more than random doodling.
The Annely Juda Fine Art gallery in London recently launched a show of Hockney’s entitled “Drawing In a Printing Machine” featuring iPhone works — created over the last four months — plus other drawings made with Photoshop and Graphics Tablet. All are displayed as inkjet printouts on paper.
For all the chatter generated by what may be the first major iPhone art gallery show, no one seems to mention what program he used, though it looks like Brushes.
Hockney’s technique, according to the Times, is to “stroke the screen very softly.” He reportedly sends fresh flower sketches to friends every morning, and says that he never could have imagined that the telephone would usher a renaissance in drawing.
You can see some more of his handiwork at the gallery here, if you’re in London, the show’s on until July 11.
Are his iPhone works in the gallery because it’s Hockney or because it’s art?