This documentary takes us through the life and career of great British artist and living legend David Hockney – considering it spans over 50 years this is quite an achievement. We learn about Hockney’s humble beginnings in Bradford to his life in Hollywood as a renowned artist. It is a testament to someone’s fame when we know who they are by their surname alone, you might not recognise a Hockney painting but you know who he is.
Using interviews with family, friends, peers and subjects of his paintings as well as with Hockney himself, now in his late 70s and still working, we get a well-rounded portrait of an uncompromising visionary. Archive footage and home videos show us glimpses into Hockney’s personal life; many feel that he used his art to help him work through his feelings, dealing with his homosexuality at a time when it was illegal albeit acceptable in Bohemia, his work as autobiography.
With a whimsical soundtrack and some arresting images the filmmakers have managed to create a cohesive and beautiful film that gives you real insight into Hockney. His personality is allowed to shine through; his freedom as an artist to create when and what he wants.
This is an interesting and engaging film.
Hockney is out now on DVD in the UK, released by Channel 4 DVD.