A Bigger Message: Conversations with David Hockney

   “Drawing makes you see things clearer, and clearer, and clearer still. The image is passing through you in a physiological way, into your brain, into your memory – where it stays – it’s transmitted by your hands”.

 A Bigger Message: Conversations with David Hockney records the insights and ideas of a man described as the world’s most popular living painter in all their vigour, individuality and depth. It is a self-portrait in discussion, observation and reflection.

‘Seeing things’, for Hockney, is far more than a simple uptake of visual information: human beings exist in space and time and their reactions to what they see are both physical and profoundly emotional. The development of visual media from the cave wall at Lascaux to the iPad does not alter Hockney’s fundemental insight that – because of its very significance to the viewer – ‘depiction is always problematic’.

The conversations in A Bigger Message constantly address the problems and paradoxes of representing a three-dimensional world – a natural ‘infinity that we all feel’ – on a flat surface. Moving through the landscapes of California and Yorkshire, and taking in the broad sweep of art history from Caravaggio to Cartier-Bresson, A Bigger Message is a record of Hockney’s entire intellectual and artistic Odyssey so far – and a relevation of the pleasures of ‘just looking’ at the infinite natural beauty which surrounds us.

See David Hockney iPad drawing illustrated on page 199 re-draw itself.

In January 2012, The Royal Academy hosted A Bigger Picture, David Hockney’s first new exhibition of major landscape paintings.

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4 Responses to A Bigger Message: Conversations with David Hockney

  1. Brad Maxey says:

    Wish I could visit the RA and see Hockney’s show. Had the pleasure of getting a nice close up view of “A Bigger Splash” last weekend at The Getty where I also purchased your book. I am a painter working in San Diego and have loved Hockney’s work for decades. I am always inspired by his work and most moved by his marvelous optimism and constant movement.

  2. Don Briggs says:

    ‘A Bigger Message’ is the best book on art I have read for years. I am an amateur watercolourist and as a result of the iPad chapter I am going to buy an iPad for myself.
    I have retired to Arles partly because of a long fascination with Van Gogh’s life and work so I was delighted today to read that you have also written a book about Vincent, it’s a sure buy for the near future.

  3. Hi,
    I LOVE these conversations ;-). And I would love to put your link on my own website.
    As a photographer, I’m working on the shapes of Hampstead Heath’ trees (human faces & bodies, animals & odd creatures, patterns, shadows…), showing how one can literally walk on the Heath like visiting and exhibition.
    Hope you’ll like it!
    Looking forward to hearing from you,
    Kind regards,
    SandJo

  4. Jeanne Reed says:

    There isn’t a chance that I’ll see the Manet exhibition at the Royal Academy. Having read David Hockney’s dialogue with you about photography, I would be very interested to know his view of the exhibition, how the curator’s premise meets his expectations, since, according to Nicholas Wadley’s review in the February 15 TLS, “the principal focus is the relationship between the mid-19th century painted portrait, the posed studio photograph, and the carte de visite”.
    Jeanne Reed
    USA

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