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Words of Wisdom

David Hockney: Why Artists Are More Important Now Than Ever

"If we are to change our world view, images have to change. The artist now has a very important job to do. He's not a little peripheral figure entertaining rich people; he's really needed."

David Hockney (b. 1937) is a painter and pop artist commonly regarded as one of the most influential English artists of the 20th century. While perhaps best known for his acrylic paintings of California swimming pools, Hockney’s work encompasses a range of different styles and forms, from photo collages to opera set designs. Hockney was appointed to the Order of Merit by Queen Elizabeth II in 2012.


“If we are to change our world view, images have to change. The artist now has a very important job to do. He’s not a little peripheral figure entertaining rich people; he’s really needed.”

Source: Interview with Paul Joyce, New York, (September 1986) quoted in Hockney on Photography, ed. Wendy Brown (1988) (via Wikiquote)

Image credit: Florent BONNEFOI (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons




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