© 2019 by Kaan Sensoy, Magic Eye Studio Amsterdam

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Hockney - Van Gogh  Another Way of Seeing and Photography

March 27, 2019

David Hockney 'Pear-blossom Highway, 11th to 18th April 1986 No.2'

 

‘’...if you really looked but you have to really looked, photography you are not really looking but when you are drawing one blade of grass, you are looking and then you see the other blades of grass and you are always seeing more’’.

 

Says David Hockney on the interview on his exhibition in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam started on 1st. March 2019. He is inspired by Van Gogh and his vision, a special the way of seeing. 

 

 

When I first came in contact with David Hockney’s works it was a photography lesson in fine art college and we were speaking about his polaroid collages. I remember that most of the students in the class were impressed by his works.

 

It was new and original even after decades. He was trying to find another way of seeing under cubist influence and he used the photography as a medium.

 

This was a clear revolutionary experiment and inspiration for young art students in the years before internet and since then I am still thinking what this experiment tells me. 

 

And now finally, following this exhibition in the Van Gogh museum, I really understand what David Hockney is trying to achieve, almost thirty years after that photography lesson. 

 

Hockney is inspired by nature, he makes use of bright colors and he experiments with perspective. Van Gogh also dealt with this. The resemblances between the two artists are no coincidence. Vincent van Gogh was a great source of inspiration for David Hockney. This is the starting point of this exhibition. But what we really see there? 

 

David Hockney painting 'May Blossom on the Roman Road', 2009 

 

 

Lots of people just scan the ground in front of them so they can walk, but they don't really look at things. Van Gogh really looked. 

David Hockney, 2018 

 

 

When you enter the exhibition, you are immediately meeting Hockney’s video installation named ‘’Four Season’’ in the first section.  The Four Seasons, World Gate Woods: four 9-screen video installations which Moving footage is presented on four large screens, taking audiences on a mesmerizing journey through the seasons in Yorkshire countryside. He used nine cameras on one set-up, each camera has a slightly same focal length but slightly looks from different perspectives. The result is very impressive and engrossing

 

David Hockney "The Four Seasons'' video installation

 

The interesting thing is that after the filming, he combined the various images to create the illusion of an uninterrupted recording. 

 

‘’The human gaze never focuses on a point; our eyes wander, zoom in and change direction, just as the cameras do here with this approach, Hockney has created an image that offers a broader view of the landscape than a painting or a photography, in which there is usually only one direction of gaze’’ says in explanation as very enlightening. 

 

Hockney is using the photography and videography for his research obviously. A camera is just a tool you can either nail or create an art piece. Craftsman make the difference of quality. 

 

Well, sometimes I’ll steal something from Van Gogh. I mean I do. Good artists don’t borrow, they steal. 

David Hockney, 2018 

 

The rest of the exhibition presents his landscapes. He made them under strong influence of Van Gogh. Although he even says he just copied them from Van Gogh, all paintings are unique and so Hockney. Six to nine frame installations, perspective experiments and even iPad paintings, all telling the same story at ones.  

 

David Hockney, 'Woldgate Woods, 6 & 9 November 2006', collection of the artist

 

We can easily see the artist’s intention in this exhibition. His consistency, after sixty years, is very impressive. I believe that this makes him a great artist. 

 

Also, I agree with Hockney that a photograph is not really looking. Mostly, it is weak to understand and tell. However, this modernist point of view is open for discussion. It is also encouraging to the artists to try. To try and find different ways of looking and seeing and as a natural result of the final product, telling. 

 

We are all looking for a reason for our being in this world. Trying to understand, to make it sense. That is why I am inspired by artists like David Hockney and Van Gogh. They experiment all the time to find another way of seeing to understand. 

 

This is the run without a finishing flag because we may never really understand and find out all the answers of the all our questions but we have to keep asking them to live. 

 

 

Sometimes I long so much to do landscape, just as one would go for a long walk to refresh oneself, and in all of nature, in trees for instance, I see expression and a soul, as it were. 

 Vincent van Gogh to his brother Theo, from Den Haag, 10 December 1882 

 

 

For David Hockney on Vincent van Gogh | FULL INTERVIEW, click here!

 

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