In June 2009 the BBC, marking the showing by the flagship arts program of David Hockney - A Bigger Picture, made available three of Hockney’s phone art pictures. They were only available for two days and unless you downloaded them then, and have kept them, that was it. Despite his commitment to figurative painting and other conventional media, certainly over, performance, installation, conceptual art and video Hockney has always embraced new technologies as a way of making distinctive exciting and interesting art. Often it has been realistically accessible to artists. His “Bounce for Bradford”, produced by coloured fax was reproduced on newsprint in thousands, by the Bradford Telegraph and Argus; his use of poloraoid cameras to produce his “joiners” was an inspiration to many wanting to capture complex scenes over time. It wasn’t a gimmick but a the opening of a dialogue about photography and representation. Later he he explored a way in which great master painters had used photographic and optical aids. For an enthusiastic champion of the craft of painting, and possibly the world’s greatest living draughtsman, to do this was was a typically provocative and mischievous but also convincing and still resonating in the art world. But this wasn’t just Hockney as lord of misrule, though there is nothing wrong with that. The point of art was not merely to represent the world, but to change our perceptions of it…
As a technical note, these were produced on iPhones, and were made available at 320x480 pixels with a resolution of 72 pixels per inch. This is the format they are here - very small files of 37kb.
How to show them. There are a number of ways you could do this, but they need to be back lit so this could include copying on acetate and showing on a light box, or using a digital frame. I do believe you should avoid resizing, and resampling the images. The most authentic and therefore appropriate way would be to recycle your 3g iPhones or iPhone touch
This is the text that that accompanied the images on the BBC website, no longer available, included this:
“To coincide with Imagine's Premiere of David Hockney - A Bigger Picture on BBC1 Tuesday 30 June at 10.35PM, the artist is giving away as downloads three of his recent original iPhone art images available for 48 hours only. You can put these digital images onto your phone or computer.
“DOWNLOAD FOR FREE TODAY AND FOR THE NEXT TWO DAYS
“MORE ABOUT DAVID HOCKNEY'S PHONE ART
The director of the Imagine documentary Bruno Wollheim explains how they were made:
David Hockney wakes up just before the dawn, takes his phone and from his bed starts to draw the cut flowers by his window, using the 'Brushes' app. With his thumb brushing the screen he works on the same scale you can see in front of you. It's a medium he started using tentatively five months ago but in just the last seven weeks he's made over 200 of these images. He likes the medium for its directness and speed, the ability to draw and paint at the same time, and the instant delivery.
“There's no reproduction or printing involved, but Hockney is exploiting the layering techniques he's developed from print-making and watercolour. There is a beauty, freshness and immediacy of touch to these images. He likes the fact he's giving them away, saying "my real vanity is the vanity of artists, I like my work to be seen." Up to now, only his friends have seen them. They were sent by Hockney on 30 May at 3.04AM, on 6 June at 5.27AM and on 8 June at 4.03AM.”
HoMA no longer exists as a selling gallery.
It is an online dictionary promoting the role of West Yorkshire in Modern Art since the start of the twententh century.
Download the dictionary as a pdf above, and add it to your ipad or tablet.
The Gallery web page archive is available on this site (click the tabs at page tops to go there).
For more information about the images and to download free copies of original digital art by David Hockney dating from 2009 go to our David Hockney download page.
iphone art 1
iphone art 2
iphone art 3