Saturday, February 4, 2012

Hockney, David

Pearblossom Highway, 11-18th April 1986 #2
Chromogenic prints mounted on paper honeycomb panel (Photographic collage)
198 x 282 cm (78 x 111 in)
Private collection

David Hockney (1937 - ) is an English painter, stage designer and photographer.
He is an important contributor to the Pop art movement of the 1960s, he is considered one of the most influential British artists of the twentieth century. (Hockney has always denied being a Pop artist but is included under this heading because this is how the public perceives him. )

It is a unique interpretation of his California road trip on a well-known dangerous highway, route 138. The scene not only consists of the driver’s perspective, but of the passenger’s eye view as well. In the forefront of ‘Pearblossom Highway, 11-18th April 1986, #2’, onlookers can make out an assortment of scattered debris such as crushed soda cans, beer bottles, an abandoned container of Castrol motor oil, and an empty case of Bud Light, all of which are relics of travelers who once passed though and left their mark.

Hockney was so fascinated with this road trip through the Antelope Valley on the outskirts of Los Angeles that he created a meaningful interpretation using over 700 mounted photographs that reveal the formerly barren Mojave Desert. “Hockney has manipulated scale to make the picture work better, to make it more real. It’s more real than any view you can have standing there in the desert. That’s what hits you in the stomach.” (The Getty Museum’s previous museum director John Walsh)