Saturday, November 17, 2018

Hockney Pool Painting - One Of My Favorites - Sells For $90 Million

When I took a computer art class with Prof. Mariano Gonzales at the University of Alaska Anchorage years ago, I realized on the first day, that everyone else in the class was a real artist.  Mariano tried to reassure me.  He said that all the others began with a different medium - water colors, oils, etc. - and had to adapt it to the computer.  I was coming to this fresh, with the computer as my first medium.

At the end of the class, we had to copy a masterpiece.  Simply duplicate it completely digitally.  I started to panic.  First I thought of doing a Mondrian.  For example.  At first that seemed like a copout, but when I looked at some of his paintings closely, I understood that they were much more subtle than I first realized - lots of subtle shades blended.

So I picked out one of my very favorite pictures - David Hockney's “Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures).”   It has the feel of the chaparral hills that I knew so well growing up in Los Angeles.  It has a sparkling swimming pool.  And a man in a salmon colored jacket by the side of the pool and another man swimming.  Except for the people and the vegetation on the hillside in the background, it's pretty angular.  Or so I thought.  

Image from larger LA Times photo
 I had to recreate it from scratch.  I think in that class we were using Corel Draw.  It's amazing how much of a picture you don't see until you really, really look at it.  

But I managed to get a reasonable copy of the picture - at least for someone who didn't know the picture well.  

It was good enough that Mariano has told me that he showed students in later classes - an example of what someone who is not an artist did.  I'd show you my version, but my copy is on an old disk that doesn't fit any current computer I have.  And I'd show the copy I have hanging in the garage.  Except we're with family for Thanksgiving out of state.  And our house sitter isn't technologically savvy enough to take a picture of it and send it.  

But here's a picture from the LA Times article from the auction the other day where it went for $90 million.  I don't think that's a particularly good thing - monetizing art like that.  But that is several more blog posts.  For now, it's important because this is a picture I love and know fairly well. There are some arrangements where the artist gets a percentage of future appreciation of their work.  But I don't think this one is likely to be covered.  It was sold long ago.  

Here's a link to the whole LA Times story.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments will be reviewed, not for content (except ads), but for style. Comments with personal insults, rambling tirades, and significant repetition will be deleted. Ads disguised as comments, unless closely related to the post and of value to readers (my call) will be deleted. Click here to learn to put links in your comment.