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David Hockney back in L.A. -- for a bit

December 5, 2009 | 10:00 am


Painter David Hockney likes to call himself “an English Los Angeleno,”  but the renowned chronicler of Los Angeles’ sun-drenched life and landscapes hasn’t been around much lately. He’s much more likely to be painting these days in his native Yorkshire than in his adopted Southern California.  “As we say in Hollywood, I’m on location,” he said, laughing. 

Hockney gallery He’s gone back and forth between his two countries for years, but his recent passion to paint Yorkshire in all seasons has kept his trips here both shorter and less frequent. Yet stop by his Hollywood Hills home, and it’s like he never left. The sun pours into the living room, the garden is in bloom, and he’s busy reading the morning newspaper at the dining room table.

I stopped by to see what and how he was doing. Always intrigued by technology, he demonstrated how he made thumb paintings on his iPhone. And when I asked him to show me what was going on in his studio, he graciously opened the door and invited me in. Within 10 minutes, he had a brush in his hand and was painting the Grand Canyon, which he had just visited, from memory. Says Hockney: “I’m very attracted to the great open spaces of the West.”

To read my story in Sunday's Arts & Books section, click here.

-- Barbara Isenberg

Photo: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times