[Image at top: David Hockney, A Bigger Splash, 1967, acrylic paint on canvas, 2425 x 2439 x 30 mm, Tate Museum.]
Tonally, Hockney is a picaresque stroll through an artist�s life, and offers sound tutorials and insights about his work. Hockney�s version of Pop Art at first centered on surfaces and human interaction. Later, though, he became more interested in visual perception, prodding the viewer to step inside the picture plane and extrapolate the image�s vanishing point with a seductive sense of line, color, and composition that yielded a kind of sublime blitheness.
By the documentary�s lights, Hockney has a resolutely positive outlook on life, barely registering on the spectrum of negativity and foreboding. This assessment may be a little too glancing. Luca Guadagnino�s recent suspense movie A Bigger Splash, named after Hockney�s large and celebrated painting of the same title depicting the instant after a dive into a swimming pool, suggests the darker perils that Hockney-esque idylls may hold. In any case, Hockney�s paintings are not merely nice to look at. In his unambiguous and unashamed references to gayness, he was ahead of his time.
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