"Celebrities are made for photographs’ says Hockney. ‘I don’t do celebrities, photography does celebrities. My friends are my celebrities."
These quotes by David Hockney best sum up what this exhibition is about – it is a collection of portraits by Hockney of friends and acquaintances who he invited to sit.
The exhibition comprised 4 rooms and the portraits, though fairly evenly spaced were still displayed relatively closer together than paintings are.
I am inclined to think this was intentional – to convey intimacy, quite possibly that as friends or acquaintances of Hockney there is a good chance they may have met one another through him or to demonstrate a coherence for the group of portraits comprising one collection or body of work.
There were at times portraits of personalities that are well know – Barry Humphries, Jacob Rothschild and curator/galleriest John Baldessari and the legendary Larry Gagosian (a pre-eminent Art Dealer who has represented artists such as Damien Hurst.)
Alongside the heavy-weight personalities mentioned are portraits of family members (Margaret Hockney) there was also a portrait of Rita Pynoos is a beautiful flowing red skirt that reached to the floor.
I noticed how, the style of the portraits appear to evolve – in the last room the portraits and in particular the handling of paint is less fluid – there were some portraits where the colours applied were far more pronounced that those in the first and second rooms in particular – the portraits at the beginning of the exhibition convey brushstrokes that are more sweeping and freerer with colours blending more easily. (It could be that Hockney used different paints and this affected the drying time, whether they could or would blend more easily….)
What was always constant were the colours of the backgrounds – alternating between the same shade of blue and green.