Tuesday, 28 February 2012
Bigging up the Bigger Picture.
About the time that I suppose the cops and the bailiffs were turning up for their final briefing before the St Paul's eviction I was safely tucked up on the sofa watching the Hockney and Marr Show on BBC2. Hockney is always good value for money and very easy to listen to. Which is more than can be said for the fawning creep Andrew Marr. The program was designed to showcase Hockney's Bigger Picture exhibition at the RA. Not that I would have thought it needed any more publicity because regardless of what critics like that archetypal spiteful old queen Brian Sewel may think about it, the punters are climbing over each other to get in. But as I say, Hockney is good value, talks a good painting if nothing else and in truth seems to have matured into quite an amiable old cove. What really made me sit up and listen was his views on the importance of actually producing the works himself rather than directing a team of underlings as is the practice of Hirst and Emin. I can't see anything wrong with having a team of people create a big work of art, it's been a practice from renaissance times and probably back to cave paintings, but at least give credit where it is due. If the work is the product of a collective why not say so. It's rather like hearing that so and so is building a house round the corner. No they are fucking not. Builders will build the house. The Union Pacific Railroad that opened up the American West was not built by the Union Pacific board of directors but by countless unnamed Chinese labourers and, strange to say, The Shard is not actually being built by the consortium of Quatari suits who are putting up the money. Whatever we think of David Hockney's politics or his interpretation of the Yorkshire landscape, and personally I have my doubts about both, his honesty and his pride in craftsmanship are surely to be admired.