April 13, 2021 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

Looking at an Artist’s Life Through His Face

Most people who know a little about art know about David Hockney, the quieter, British-born Warhol contemporary whose scenes of daily life are notable for their brilliant color and broad strokes. After making a name for himself in the London art world, Hockney moved in the mid-sixties to Los Angeles, where he would discover his greatest, most enduring muse: The swimming pool. And also boys. Lots of boys.

As an openly gay artist, Hockney never feels the need to over (or under) state the case. His paintings are elegant, sensual, and evocative of a specific, calmly lustful mood. The now-approaching-80-year old artist is enjoying the birthday gift of a retrospective at the J. Paul Getty Museum from now until late November. But instead of seeing the classic scenes of pools, boys, and the occasional sleeping dachshund, museum-goers will be treated to a less common muse of the Hockney-verse: The artist himself.

In self-portraits ranging from the ‘60s to the present, and across many different media platforms, we’re treated to the evolution of Hockney’s artistry through the shifting canvas of his own face and body. In the playful ways in which he allows himself to be interpreted by his own brush – cut into pieces in a Picasso-like abstract, or from his own POV while sitting down staring at his shoes – he allows us to see him without flourish. An almost shocking kind of vulnerability is on display in all the portraits, something one doesn’t tend to see with an artist that feels the need to exert more control over his own image (say Hockney’s good friend Warhol.) But what’s always distinctive about Hockney is the way in which the colorful world is revealed through the parts of art that should be distracting. The colors, shapes, and attitudes reveal a nakedness about everyday life, and about the mindset of an artist who’s never been interested in hiding.

“Happy Birthday, Mr. Hockey” will run at the Getty Center through November 26.

Related Posts

National AIDS Memorial Mary Bowman Arts in Activism Award Given to Westside Local

April 11, 2021

April 11, 2021

Poet, Activist, Artist, and Westside local Ima Diawara uses her art and activism to raise greater awareness about bigotry, stigma...

West Hollywood Celebrates National Poetry Month

April 9, 2021

April 9, 2021

The City of West Hollywood will celebrate National Poetry Month in April with a variety of events and exhibitions honoring...

L.A. Stage Alliance To Cease Operations After Several Companies Exit

April 9, 2021

April 9, 2021

The Los Angeles Stage Alliance (LASA) announced that it would “cease all operations” following the departure of more than 25...

Trans Los Angeles A Film Full Of Queer Latinx Talent

April 4, 2021

April 4, 2021

Trans Los Angeles is an anthology composed of four short films directed and written by transgender director Kase Peña. Each...

Pride Poets’ Corner: Double Dutch Nymph By Féi Hernandez

March 28, 2021

March 28, 2021

The Pride LA and West Hollywood Poet Laureate Brian Sonia-Wallace would like to introduce Féi Hernandez featuring their latest work...

Pride Poets’ Corner: Penetrate By Terry Wolverton

March 21, 2021

March 21, 2021

In honor of Women’s History Month The Pride Poets’ Corner, curated by West Hollywood Poet Laureate Brian Sonia-Wallace, wished to...

Remembering EZTV Founder Kate Johnson Who Saved LGBTQ+ Media Work

March 21, 2021

March 21, 2021

Kate Johnson was an artist and founder of EZTV. Johnson saved and stewarded an important archive of new media work...

WeHo Lesbian Speakers Series

March 11, 2021

March 11, 2021

The City of West Hollywood’s Lesbian Speakers Series will celebrate Women’s History Month with a panel of dynamic lesbians and...

Strut Bar & Club Announces Mural To Frontline Workers

February 21, 2021

February 21, 2021

Costa Mesa’s Strut bar and club has announced that it will dedicate a mural to the community of frontline workers...

Drive N Drag Los Angeles

February 14, 2021

February 14, 2021

Drive N Drag will be coming to the Rose Bowl, Pasadena. Featuring RuPauls Drag Race Alumni favorite Aquaria, Asia O’Hara,...

The Pride Poets’ Corner “Death Sentence” By: Victor Yates

February 11, 2021

February 11, 2021

In honor of Black History Month The Pride’s featured poem this month is by poet Victor Yates.  Yates is a...

Hal Holbrook, Actor Who Played Mark Twain, Dies At 95

February 3, 2021

February 3, 2021

Hal Holbrook, the actor best known for his accurate portrayal of Samuel Clemens — better known as Mark Twain —...

Trailblazing Actress Cicely Tyson Dies At 96

January 28, 2021

January 28, 2021

Iconic actress, former model and civil rights activist Cicely Tyson has died at the age of 96.  Tyson’s manager Larry...

Award Decorated Actress, Cloris Leachman, Dead At 94

January 27, 2021

January 27, 2021

Cloris Leachman, Oscar and Emmy winning actress, has died at the age of 94 from natural causes at her home...

The Pride Poet’s Corner “Some Super Contextual New Year’s Resolutions” By: Brian Sonia-Wallace

January 17, 2021

January 17, 2021

Some Super Contextual New Year’s Resolutions By: Brian Sonia-Wallace a Don’t wash the dishes. Don’t go for a walk. Wear...