HEROES & VILLAINS: Christopher Bailey on David Hockney ; the Burberry Designer (below) on His Affection for a Great British Artist
I'VE ALWAYS loved David Hockney and for many different reasons. Firstly, I love his paintings and his art in general. I love his photographic work, his stage sets. I love the contrast between the stoic, grey, industrial landscape of Yorkshire, where he comes from, and that bright, sunny, Californian way of looking at things. You feel that in his paintings and I think you always did even before he moved to America, even when he was a student at the RCA. There's almost a sunshine radiating from his paintings. I like optimistic art. I'm not interested by angst. Art is such an emotional thing anyway and for me I prefer to have a positive reaction.
Then there's Hockney's character, the way that he presents himself, what he wears and the way he talks. His style is completely his own. There are so many identifiable things with David Hockney, the glasses, the almost angelic face, the stripy T-shirts, the bright colours, the blond hair. It's almost like Andy Warhol, but done in a very British way, done in a non-celebrity way to please himself rather than other people. I think he is an incredibly articulate person, both in words and with drawing as well and that's quite unusual.
We're from very similar places. I was born in Halifax. I grew up with David Hockney " David Hockney, from Bradford. He's kind of a local hero. When I was a teenager I used to go regularly to Salt's Mill in a little town called Saltaire. Salt's Mill was always the focus of the town. The owner, Titus Salt, built a church and a school and houses for the workers there. As time went on the houses became regular houses, the mill closed down. In 1987 Jonathan Silver bought it and asked Hockney if he would have a permanent exhibition there. It is still there today. It's gorgeous. I love it.
The funny thing is that when you're young you don't really think of things having much relevance outside your world. I never really considered that Hockney was a huge international artist. For me, he was an artist who lived in Bradford and I happened to love his …
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Publication information: Article title: HEROES & VILLAINS: Christopher Bailey on David Hockney ; the Burberry Designer (below) on His Affection for a Great British Artist. Contributors: Not available. Newspaper title: The Independent (London, England). Publication date: September 17, 2005. Page number: 70. © 2009 The Independent - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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