Hockney’s rubbish

October 25, 2012

I wrote this post way back just before Easter. For some reason, it’s been lying around as a draft. And so now I’m publishing it. I hope you like it. But if not, hey, what gives?


Or so you’d think, listening to the folks wandering the Royal Academy’s galleries. We went along to see Hockney’s latest exhibition, A Bigger Picture, on Good Friday. The exhibition closes this Easter weekend, and, just like us, it seemed many people had left it to the last minute to go. And so the queues were huge; at least an hour and a half until you could buy a ticket, and then another wait depending upon which time slot you got.

A nice lady stalked the queue, pointing out that, if you became a friend of the Royal Academy, there and then, you could get into the exhibition, there and then. And for free too! Once you’d become a friend. A friend who gives money that is. And so let me introduce you to my little friend; the Royal Academy.

Why do people queue up to see something they’re only going to moan about? What is it about art that gets people so angry? Heck, if you don’t like something, just move along there. It’s not as if Hockney’s only done two or three paintings. just relax please; all you people who have left it til the last weekend, to come with your words and your talking.

In a packed gallery it’s easy to loiter by those who have something to say. Occasionally you learn something; I never knew Hockney once gave Damien Hirst a dead leg in Tesco’s (I may have misheard this one); but more often than not you learn more about the talker… and hell, I know that in writing this I’m sort of showing off my big art mouth, so feel free to heckle…

Here’s my favourites:

Elderly fop to squirelled madame and (possible) first date: “And look, here, there’s no definition, as if he couldn’t be bothered, or got bored.” Move along please.

Grey fellow to owled and tired wife: “He says he painted them all at different times of the day, but look! Look at the sky! There, and there, and there in that one too! It’s the same blue! He’s used the same blue paint!” Owl wife; “What’s your point?” Grey mullet; “It’s just the same blue, he’s used the same paint!” Next please.

Tim Dowling lookalike pushing a baby in a pram to his word-beaten wife; “It’s a shame you don’t like blah blah blah.”

By the way, it wasn’t Tim Dowling, just to make that much clear. The little I know of Tim Dowling, from his columns, I doubt he’d choose to be so provocative to his wife. Surely he’d keep mum.

It’s not a shame that his wife didn’t like blah blah blah. I’m glad she didn’t like blah blah blah (blah blah blah because I can’t remember what it was… a Hockney thing). Maybe she liked the next one. Or none. That’s ok. No shame.

Was he threatened by his wife not liking what he liked? I do wish, in the gallery, she’d gone all Peanuts Pesci on him and started a “Shame, how?” row.



I don’t like some things. And I’ve had friends not get that, or not like it. l like shrugging and going “what gives?” I like Sparks. If I took it upon myself to tell all my friends that it was a shame that they didn’t like them, well, I’d have no friends. I just have to accept that not everyone likes Sparks. And the “don’t like” is the crucial thing. I  can’t choose to interpret “don’t like” as “don’t get”. It’s not for me to think they’re missing out. It’s their choice. Idiots. Shame.