It’s honestly been quite a while since I finished the book “A Bigger Message” by Martin Gayford about the art and life of British painter and one of the most influential abstract artist of both our and the previous times, David Hockney and I have enjoyed it immensely and would recommend it to not only any art lover out there but also philosophy enthusiasts as that is exactly what this books is.
JUMPING BETWEEN AGES
The one thing I think is notable about this book is that its an interview setting, jumping from present (when the interviews were held) to past as mr. Hockney recollects his growth as an artists but also as an person. You get short and yet very in-depth view into what and who inspired him as the time but also what kind of person he was when he was discovering art for himself. In this sense, the book is very philosophical.
The way David Hockney and Martin Gayford talk about art makes you want to explore that side of yourself and on that note I offer you one quote from the book:
Even children have that instinct to grab a pencil and draw. That suggests it’s deep, deep desire to depict.A Bigger Message, Conversation with David Hockey by Martin Gayford
Reading about influences in any form of art is always fascinating to me, who was it that sparked the thought of another genius, anything and anyone can influence us on our own journey and this book spends great part of deal explaining what influenced David Hockney as an artists throughout his career whether it was Francis Bacon or his discover of classic Chinese paintings, which he first seen in United States in the 80s.
Personally the art from southern and southern-eastern Asia is fascinating me greatly and I love discovering it further, therefore this chapter was by far the most enjoyable to me, but the thing about David Hockney is that he tried many forms and styles of art, and I believe you will find your own piece of it, from classical painting, to portrait, to Asian or American influences all the way to photography and his love for nature.
On this note, I am offering yet another quote, perhaps to lure you in:
There is a Chinese saying: Painting is an old man’s art, meaning that the experience of life and painting and looking at the world accumulates as you get older.A Bigger Message, Conversation with David Hockey by Martin Gayford
IT IS A CHANGABLE CONVERSATION
For me personally, I could read another 300 pages and they would be gone in moments passed but I can also say that the way book jumps between different time and space, even in the present times when Mr. Hockney got his new studio in London and was concentrating on bringing size of painting to new dimension, combining them with what we can learn from photography, it can feel tad all over the place if you are not focused on what you are reading.
Nonetheless on its 300 pages which gather volume by many paintings and examples you will learn a lot about art, art of David Hockney and perhaps your own interests. I would wholeheartedly recommend this book, especially to the lovers of abstract art, in such case David Hockney stands right between the same giants Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti and on that note I offer last quote:
Francis Bacon used to quote Giacometti who used to say a lot of abstraction was “the art of a handkerchief” (C’est last du mouchoir) – covered in stains and dribbles.A Bigger Message, Conversation with David Hockey by Martin Gayford
You will of course read about great many influences and artists who had impacted work of David Hockney one way or another and on his journey, you can learn more of them as well, such as J. M. W. Turner, Vincent van Gogh, James Ward, Claude Lorrain or Xu Yang and many more.
I have read this book as part of Bookclub, inspired by the books enjoyed and recommended by singer and songwriter, rapper and producer from South Korea, Kim Namjoon. You can join the bookclub here and join in on March & April books – KAFKA on the Shore by Haruki Murakami and The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera.