Still life with iPad: David Hockney works his Apple gadgets for all they’re worth in “Fresh Flowers.”
This isn’t the first time that David Hockney has dabbled in the realm of digital art, but the images in his latest exhibit, “Fresh Flowers,” wouldn’t exist without the aid of Apple products—specifically, his iPhone and iPad. They also couldn’t be shown without those same gadgets.
Hockney’s iOuevre, as The Atlantic’s Alex Hoyt put it, isn’t exactly ringing critics’ chimes in every case, but making masterpieces—or tons of money—may not be the goal of this exercise, at least according to the man who curated the ongoing show at Paris’ Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent Foundation. —KA
The commercial art world seems to think the jury’s still out about Hockney’s iPad period, according to Charlie Scheips, the show’s curator. Some have dismissed it as his latest dalliance. Yet for Scheips, the opinions of the art world miss the point of a show about the creative use of a new, intimate medium.
“Fresh Flowers” began with Hockney creating an image and zipping it off to a dozen friends. Though the paintings look like fluorescent Matisses, in spirit they’re descended from Mail Art, the absurdist movement pioneered by Ray Johnson and his New York School of Correspondence in the 1960s. That band of artsy pranksters made works out of anything—rubber stamps, postmarks, signatures, photocopies—as long as it fit on a postcard they could send to the world.