Lawrence Weschler, whose book True to Life collects 25 years of his conversations with the artist David Hockney, recently spoke to The New York Review of Books about Hockney’s recent paintings, upcoming exhibit, and his newest artistic medium, the iPhone.
As Weschler notes, Hockney has been especially productive over the past few years, creating many large-scale paintings of the English countryside. He has also adopted the iPhone as a pocket-sized canvas, using the Brushes application to create hundreds of vibrant digital sketches of landscapes, sunrises and flowers, that he sends to friends. Comparing these sketches to haikus by an epic poet, Weschler recalls that Hockney has always been on the cutting edge of art and technology.
In 1985, Hockney tried the Quantel Paintbox, a computer program used to create television graphics. The BBC documentary Painting with Light follows Hockney as he creates a digital picture with the Paintbox. The first segment appears below (find parts 2-5 here).