10 Quotes Where David Hockney Threw Art-World Shade


The library is open, and English painter David Hockey has been reading the art-world since he became an integral figure during the pop-art movement during the 1960s. Hockney, who is the subject of a new documentary by Randall Wright, in theaters this week, has never been shy about throwing shade. Here are ten instances of the artist offering a snippy word about everything from photography to fellow artists Jeff Koons, Lucian Freud, and Gerhard Richter.

“Nobody’s taking any notice of the avant-garde any more. They’re finding they’ve lost their authority.”

“[Lucian Freud] paints slowly and he gossips. Well, I can’t do that. When I’m painting, I’m in silence.”

“Jeff Koons is a terrible painter. Terrible painter.”

“I just can’t see any profundity. [Gerhard Richter] always makes the same stuff with the squeegee, which is okay, but I don’t see what’s so great about it.”

“How could painting go away because of photography? Well, photography isn’t good enough, because its main problem is perspective. To pretend there isn’t a problem with perspective is to be a bit blind, I think.”

“Art historians don’t make images. The problem with art historians is this: a science historian would be very concerned that scientific education was really good and concerned if it deteriorated. The art historian has no interest at all in art education and it has made them look at art too separately.”

“Painting cannot die. The French said all their talent went into filmmaking. But paintings don’t talk, don’t move and last longer.”

“I can see that cinema seems to be finished. Everybody has a bigger screen at home. I’m assuming eventually you won’t need a screen at all—these iPhones will just project.”

“The destruction of drawing in the art schools was almost criminal.”

“It is very good advice to believe only what an artist does, rather than what he says about his work.”