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David Hockney: Gay men have become boring and conservative

May 9, 2015

ArtsPaintingPhotography | by Danny & Josh

Internationally renowned artist David Hockney has complained in an interview that too many gay men just want to lead boring lives. The artist, aged 77, is openly gay and is known for his photography and painting. Hockney, speaking ahead of a new exhibition opening in central London, complained that too many gay men have become ‘boring’ and ‘conservative’. He feels that there has been a decline in bohemian spirit which he argued had been taken over by suburban values. “Bohemia is gone now,” he said.

Hockney stated he is still in contact with his former lovers except those who have become ‘so boring’. He was surprised to see that on a recent visit to San Francisco he was shocked to see that the city’s large gay community had just vanished. “it’s a very boring city now. Where are the Harvey Milks?” he asked, in reference to the first openly gay man elected to public office in California in 1978. He recently visited his former lover Peter Schlesinger, the young man who featured in the 1970s documentary about Hockney and his entourage, A Bigger Splash, and was appalled by what had become of him. “We went for dinner in New York about a year and a half ago. We left at nine o’clock.” At 77 the artist has had a stroke in 2012 so maybe these remarks are coming from thoughts of how he wished he could still have a bohemian lifestyle still.


David Hockney, Perspective Should Be Reversed (2014), Photographic drawing on paper, mounted on Dibond, ed of 25, 108 x 177 cm


Hockney has a new exhibition in the Annely Juda Fine Art gallery in W1 from the 15th May to 27th June. The show includes a series of group portraits and scenes painted in his Los Angeles studio in 2014 and 2015. This exhibition is unsurprisingly a correlation between painting and photography. However he is now more interested in modernising processes such as perspective. Hockney tells us that the paintings help him photograph and the photographs help him paint. This isn’t the first time we have seen Hockney use new perspectives it wasn’t too long ago we saw him create a whole exhibition with landscape paintings on iPad’s. Either way Hockney is presenting us with something new here and we can still see this determination to take his practice even further.


Danny Keeling, Creative Director