I’m a writer, mainly about art and jazz. I am currently the art critic for The Spectator magazine, and also contribute to many other publications.

My recent books include Shaping the World (co-authored with the Sculptor Antony Gormley), In Pursuit of Art, Modernists & MavericksA History of Pictures: from Cave to Computer Screen (co-authored with David Hockney) and Rendez-vous with Art, co-written with Philippe de Montebello, the former director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. My other books all scrutinize the working process of great painters: nine weeks in the life of Vincent van Gogh, seven years of John Constable’s romance with his wife-to-be, around 250 hours which I spent sitting for a portrait by Lucian Freud, a series of dialogues exploring painting, landscape, space, time and perception with David Hockney, and a biography of Michelangelo Buonarrotti.

New Book – Spring Cannot be Cancelled!

Based on my conversations over the past year with the artist David Hockney, in which we reflected upon life and art as we self-isolated during the Covid-19 pandemic, and in particular David’s recording of the arrival of spring while locked down at his home in Normandy.

Available from March 25th – more information can be found here.