Sunday, February 7, 2010

David Hockney and iPhone Art

The iPhone has been a game changing device but this is a new one.

In his seventies now, David Hockney has created a new kind of art using a iPhone app called 'Brushes' to draw on his iPhone. The drawings are done exclusively using his thumb and

Over the past six months, Hockney has fashioned literally hundreds, probably over a thousand, such images, often sending out four or five a day to a group of about a dozen friends, and not really caring what happens to them after that. (He assumes the friends pass them along through the digital ether.) These are, mind you, not second-generation digital copies of images that exist in some other medium: their digital expression constitutes the sole (albeit multiple) original of the image....
Lately he has been concentrating on the summer dawn and as he says:
After all, what clearer, more luminous light are we ever afforded? Especially here where the light comes rising over the sea, just the opposite of my old California haunts. But in the old days one never could, because, of course, ordinarily it would be too dark to see the paints; or else, if you turned on a light so as to be able to see them, you'd lose the subtle gathering tones of the coming sun. But with an iPhone, I don't even have to get out of bed, I just reach for the device, turn it on, start mixing and matching the colors, laying in the evolving scene...

Hockney, who has carried small notebooks in his pockets since his student days, along with pencils, crayons, pastel sticks, ink pens, and watercolor bottles—and smudged clean-up rags—is used to working small, but he delights in the simplicity of this new medium:

It's always there in my pocket, there's no thrashing about, scrambling for the right color. One can set to work immediately, there's this wonderful impromptu quality, this freshness, to the activity; and when it's over, best of all, there's no mess, no clean-up. You just turn off the machine. Or, even better, you hit Send, and your little cohort of friends around the world gets to experience a similar immediacy. There's something, finally, very intimate about the whole process.

More here, including examples of his work and a slideshow.