Thursday, March 10, 2011

David Hockney's Fresh Flowers

via NPR
Catching up on NPR podcasts . . . I just listened to a show from December about an art show featuring tiny works by David Hockney composed and displayed on the screens of iPhones and iPads (In Paris, A Display From David Hockney's Pixelated Period : NPR).
A few things that I liked or wondered about:

1. When Mr. Hockney first began making these little works of art, he emailed them to about two dozen friends in the morning after they were finished. (Imagine being on the email shortlist of David Hockney? And what happens after you get one of these digital paintings . . . should you save it forever? Wouldn't you feel just awful if you accidentally or on purpose deleted it?)

via NPR

2. The paintings were made with various painting/drawing apps for the iPhone/iPad, including an app called Brushes. Here's a look at what other artists at the Brushes site and at a Brushes exhibit of art in Austin, Texas, which opened on March 10, are doing with the app.

3. Hockney would get so into the "painting" process on the iPad that he would sometimes wipe his fingers on his clothing, as if cleaning the paint off. He prefers using his fingers to using a stylus for different effects, and sometimes will use the fingers from his non-dominant hand.

4. The 20 iPods and 20 iPads in the exhibit were on 24 hours a day, and occasionally Hockney would email a new painting to one of the devices, swapping out images.

5. . A quote from this article on the BBC site (which includes a video of Hockney talking about the show) -
"Drawing is rather like playing chess:
your mind races ahead of the moves that you eventually make."

6. There's a companion app that creates a video as you're using the Brushes app, and that's how these videos of drawings from start to finish were created. Portrait videos by artist Olechka are here, and a New Yorker magazine cover here. This cover was drawn in May of 2009 by Jorge Colombo while standing outside Madam Toussaud's Wax Museum in Times Square. (I'm sure we passed by this very spot, or close to it, when we were in NYC in the summer of 2009. We could see the Madame Toussaud golden hand from our hotel room!)

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