A self portrait of David Hockney; full face, wearing glasses; signed, lower right.
David Hockney was appointed to the Order of Merit in 2012 and four months later executed this iPad drawing (in a unique print) for the Order of Merit portrait series in the Royal Collection. Throughout the latter part of his career Hockney has experimented with the potential of new technologies to produce graphic art – the Polaroid camera, the photocopier and fax machine, graphics software on computers, and from 2008 the Apple iPhone and iPad.1 Most of Hockney’s iPad drawings have been landscapes, for which the wide range of colors and effects afforded by the Brushes app, the transparency and luminosity and, crucially, the speed of execution are particularly well suited. The app also allows Hockney to play back the drawing, stroke by stroke, so that he can ‘watch’ himself at work afterwards. New software allows the images to be enlarged and printed well beyond the format of the screen without pixilation. Here, the ability to draw with lines of varying diffuseness has allowed the artist to capture the out-of-focus effect of a face seen from very close to, over life-size and filling the pictorial field, with only the white lines of the hair and lower edge of the spectacles drawn sharply.
glassesself portraitdigitalink-jet printed ipad drawing40.6 x 30.5 cm