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David Hockney Quotes On Art And Life

David Hockney Quotes

I believe that the very process of looking can make a thing beautiful.

It takes a long time to make it simple.

If you see the world as beautiful, thrilling and mysterious, as I think I do, then you feel quite alive.

What an artist is trying to do for people is bring them closer to something, because of course art is about sharing. You wouldn’t be an artist unless you wanted to share an experience, a thought.

I draw flowers every day and send them to my friends so they get fresh blooms every morning.

We don’t all see the same way at all. Even if I’m sitting looking at you, there is always the memory of you as well. And a memory is now. So someone who’s never met you before is seeing a different person. That’s bound to be the case. We all see something different. I assume most people don’t look very hard at anything.

The camera can’t see space. It sees surfaces. People see space, which is much more interesting.

Faces are the most interesting things we see; other people fascinate me, and the most interesting aspect of other people – the point where we go inside them – is the face. It tells all.

In art, new ways of seeing mean new ways of feeling; you can’t divorce the two, as, we are now aware, you cannot have time without space and space without time.

I was aware that the teaching of drawing was being stopped almost 30 years ago. And I always said, ‘The teaching of drawing is the teaching of looking.’ A lot of people don’t look very hard.

There is nothing wrong with photography, if you don’t mind the perspective of a paralysed Cyclops.

David Hockney prints
White Porcelain, 1985, David Hockney

Listening is a positive act: you have to put yourself out to do it.

I have always believed that art should be a deep pleasure…there is always, everywhere, an enormous amount of suffering. But I believe my duty as an artist is to overcome and alleviate the sterility of despair…New ways of seeing mean new ways of feeling… I do believe that painting can change the world.

Art has to move you and design does not, unless it’s a good design for a bus.

Enjoyment of the landscape is a thrill.

Nature, never, never let’s you down, it’s not a cliché, nature isn’t a cliché, pictures might be, but you can get tired of pictures.

No matter what the illusion created, it is a flat canvas and it has to be organised into shapes.

I think I’m greedy, but I’m not greedy for money – I think that can be a burden – I’m greedy for an exciting life.

When you are older, you realise that everything else is just nothing compared to painting and drawing.

I’m always excited by the unlikely, never by ordinary things.

The moment you cheat for the sake of beauty, you know you’re an artist.

I think photography has made us see the landscape in a very dull way – that’s one of its effects. It’s not spatial.