The 27 iPhone and iPad drawings in this exhibition result from Hockney’s indefatigable interest in exploring the possibilities of image-making, utilising and pioneering new technologies. With his extraordinary eye for detail, he takes the seemingly mundane objects of everyday life and creates imposing images bursting with colour, pattern and line.
The convenience of being able to work with a small hand-held device, such as the iPhone, with endless possibilities of multiple colour and mark-making effects, enables a new intimacy and immediacy seen in this series of images. The artist draws and paints whatever catches his eye, whether a robe hanging on a bathroom door, a phone charger and cable, a vase of flowers, a single wine glass or his own portrait in a reflection. The resulting images portray his mind-set of ‘Love-Life’, creating a visual autobiography of his surroundings.
Also on view will be four new ‘Photographic Drawings’. By making composite images of photographs and paintings, Hockney amalgamates various viewpoints of interior scenes in his LA studio, deliberately altering perspective and throwing our traditional understanding of depth off kilter. Recent works have furthered this exploration by deviating from the standard square or rectangular canvas. This can be seen in ‘Focus Moving’, whereby the six-sided format attempts to further transcend the limitations of conventional space. The printed images are mounted onto Dibond, a type of aluminium, giving them a sense of three dimensionality.
The work in this exhibition conveys Hockney’s ability to depict that which surrounds him with a unique style and viewpoint. It also builds on his unwavering interest in new technology and its ability to offer new ways of exploring our perception of reality. Hockney, who is now in his eighties, quickly became accustomed to drawing on the ‘Brushes’ app on the iPhone and proceeded to draw with an iPad, which he says: “takes it to a new level - simply because it’s eight times the size of an iPhone, as big as a reasonably sized sketchbook.” Hockney believes the software to be so advanced that it keeps up with the artist’s hand and allows sufficient sensitivity in colour and painterly line. It shows the artist’s skill in minute detail and striking colours. Meanwhile, in the ‘Photographic Drawings’, Hockney furthers his exploration into the limits of single-point perspective, something which has been prevalent throughout his career, from his paintings, photo collages and videos.