In England, the painter-photographer-printmaker-filmmaker David Hockney has been heralded as "a national treasure." Now 77 years old, he has seen his art exhibited at galleries all around the world. In addition to this rich and varied personal archive of material, Hockney has given many enlightening interviews.
This well-done documentary by Randall Wright makes the most of these resources and adds other special treats including talks with Arthur Lambert and Colin Self, two of Hockney's oldest friends; and comments by Don Bachardy, Celia Birtwell, John Kasmin, and others who have been the subjects in his portraits. Hockney shares his feelings about his long relationship with his gay lover Peter Schlesinger and his harrowing memories about the scourge of AIDS in the 1980s.
Wright conveys the drama of Hockney's years at art school; his experiences and responses to the swinging 1960s in London; and his quest for new creative adventures in New York and then Los Angeles.
We appreciated this artist's path of discipline and his celebration of attention: At one point, he states "Everyone is looking all the time, you just have to train yourself to look harder."