David Hocknet - A Bigger Message

A Bigger Message

Conversations with David Hockney

  1. Martin Gayford
  • ISBN 9780500238875
  • 22.90 x 15.20 cm
  • Hardback
  • 248pp
  • 161 Illustrations, 154 in colour
  • First published 2011
‘I devoured this from cover to cover and can highly recommend it, because much like Gayford’s other recent book on Lucian Freud (Man with a Blue Scarf) the conversational flow leads the reader to many other ideas around and beyond its subject’ – The Bookseller
' ‘A Bigger Message is a book destined to become a classic’ – ArtsDaily.org
‘There is much to be enjoyed in – and much to be discovered from this book … you will find out much else behind Hockney’s extraordinarily voracious appetite for reinvention and self-scrutiny’ – Art Quarterly
'… a rewarding book that turns out to be far more than simply the story of how and why Hockney made his most recent pictures. It offers a series of snappy essays on the complicated act of looking. The exchanges with Hockney are enlightening and provocative, and Gayford has framed this dialogue with skilful narrative and art historical context – Times Literary Supplement

A unique and fascinating self-portrait of one of the most celebrated and influential British artists of all time, A Bigger Message is destined to become a classic.

See an animation of David Hockney creating an iPad drawing
See Martin Gayford talking about going to meet David Hockney
See the book review and gallery in The Guardian.

David Hockney - A Bigger Message

Sparky, illuminating and entertaining – a decade’s worth of conversations between David Hockney and art critic Martin Gayford that explore via anecdote, reflection, passion and humour the very nature of creativity.

David Hockney is possibly the world’s most popular living painter, but he is also something else: an incisive and original thinker on art. Here are the fruits of his lifelong meditations on the problems and paradoxes of representing a three-dimensional world on a flat surface.

- How does drawing make one ‘see things clearer, and clearer, and clearer still’, as Hockney suggests?
- What significance do different media – from a Lascaux cave wall to an iPad – have for the way we see?
- What is the relationship between the images we make and the reality around us?
- How have changes in technology affected the way artists depict the world?

The conversations are punctuated by wise and witty observations from both parties on numerous other artists – Van Gogh or Vermeer, Caravaggio, Monet, Picasso – and enlivened by shrewd insights into the contrasting social and physical landscapes of California, where Hockney spent many years, and Yorkshire, the birthplace to which he has returned. Some of the people he has encountered along the way – from Henri Cartier-Bresson to Billy Wilder – make entertaining appearances in the dialogue.

See the Financial Times review of the launch of David Hockney's forthcoming
Royal Academy exhibition 'A Bigger Picture'.

Martin Gayford has been art critic for the Spectator and the Sunday Telegraph and is currently chief art critic for Bloomberg News. He is the author of the acclaimed books The Yellow House: Van Gogh, Gauguin and Nine Turbulent Weeks in Arles, Constable in Love: Love, Landscape, Money and the Making of a Great Painter and Man with a Blue Scarf: On Sitting for a Portrait by Lucian Freud, also published by Thames & Hudson.
See Martin Gayford's website

Also of interest
David Hockney World of Art series
Man with a Blue Scarf: On Sitting for a Portrait by Lucian Freud by Martin Gayford