Fleurs Fraiches (Fresh Flowers)

The English painter and printmaker, David Hockney, has created a new twist on an art  exhibit – paintings created using the application Brushes on an iPhone and an iPad.  Hockney emailed his paintings (perhaps an art-world first?) to the Fondation Pierre Berge-Yves Saint Laurent, the location where the exhibit is now underway through the end of January.  Hockney started experimenting with his iPhone, sketching and painting from his home in Yorkshire, England.  When he learned about the iPad, he moved to that larger “canvas”.  20 iPhones and 20 iPads are hung on the walls of the exhibit space, glowing with the brightly colored gems that Hockney (age 73) created.

David Hockney iPad Painting

Apparently, some of the iPad displays are animated so that you can see how Hockney constructed the picture.  While watching the animation, you can follow along with the artistic judgments made as he painted – blocking out, building up, adding detail.  I would love to see that.  He’s also emailing in new paintings as he creates them, so the exhibit changes periodically.

The digital versions I found online, like this one here, are vibrant, bright and joyful – Hockney is clearly taking full advantage of a back-lit screen.  I tried printing one out, just to see what it would look like, and it just wasn’t the same.

The paintings are not made for reproduction and they are not for sale.  They are emphemeral…virtual… intensely interesting…and, well, fresh.



Filed under Technology Trends

5 responses to “Fleurs Fraiches (Fresh Flowers)

  1. ldinstl

    This is SO cool. I have brushes on the iPhone (I think maybe you and I exchanged “paintings” awhile back). But seeing what a real pro with actual talent can do…inspiring and depressing all at the same time. I agree that it would be great to see the animations of how he works. I wonder if that would help…heheh

    Chimera (who is wondering where Spiral has gone…)

  2. Bob Woodbury

    Robin, the “New Yorker” iPad version for October 4, 2010 includes a special feature: “Watch David Hockney draw this cover.” It’s wonderful to watch, as you describe, a collector’s item!

  3. rheyden

    Hiya! Sorry about that – I changed my email address to: robinheyden@gmail.com. Sent out an announcement about the change but I keep discovering people I forgot to alert. Happy New Year!

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