David Hockney quotes:

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  • I worked in the NHS as a hospital orderly during my national service, and people thought it was a noble service. But over the years it's lost its humanity.

  • I'm a very early riser, and I don't like to miss that beautiful early morning light.

  • And then I went round the corner and there's a Van Gogh portrait, and you just think, well, this is another level. A higher level, actually. I love the Sargent, but it's not the level of Van Gogh.

  • I had always planned to make a large painting of the early spring, when the first leaves are at the bottom of the trees, and they seem to float in space in a wonderful way. But the arrival of spring can't be done in one picture.

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

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

  • East Yorkshire, to the uninitiated, just looks like a lot of little hills. But it does have these marvelous valleys that were caused by glaciers, not rivers. So it is unusual.

  • On the iPhone I tended to draw with my thumb. Whereas the moment I got to the iPad, I found myself using every finger.

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

  • But the moment you use an ordinary camera, you are not seeing the picture, remember, meaning, you had to remember what you've taken. Now you could see it of course, with a digital thing, but remember in 1982 you couldn't.

  • 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.

  • As you get older, it gets a bit harder to keep the spontaneity in you, but I work at it.

  • Drawing makes you see things clearer, and clearer and clearer still, until your eyes ache.

  • But slowly I began to use cameras and then think about what it was that was going on. It took me a long time, I mean I actually played with cameras and photography for about 20 years.

  • The photograph isn't good enough. It's not real enough.

  • To me, the world's rather beautiful if you look at it. Especially nature.

  • I'm not really looking for theater work. But if somebody approaches me with enthusiasm, I might respond.

  • I think I am seeing more clearly now than ever.

  • Picasso is still influencing me. Of course, I haven't got that kind of energy, or skill.

  • People criticized me for my photography. They said it's not art.

  • 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.

  • I go and see anything that's visually new, any technology that's about picture-making. The technology won't make the pictures different, but someone using it will.

  • You had to be aware that I saw that photography was a mere episode in the history of the optical projection and when the chemicals ended, meaning the picture was fixed by chemicals, we were in a new era.

  • As for the world of fashion and celebrity, I have the usual interest in the human comedy, but the problems of depiction absorb me more.

  • I'm not antisocial. I like people.

  • Television is becoming a collage - there are so many channels that you move through them making a collage yourself. In that sense, everyone sees something a bit different.

  • I'm fed up with being bossed around.

  • It's time to debate images, especially when someone's going to prison for downloading them.

  • The moment I got a very big studio, everything took off.

  • I value my friends.

  • I'm interested in all kinds of pictures, however they are made, with cameras, with paint brushes, with computers, with anything.

  • Cubism was an attack on the perspective that had been known and used for 500 years. It was the first big, big change. It confused people: they said, 'Things don't look like that!'

  • A lot of people, given the chance, would blow up everything, and you and me.

  • I think Picasso was, without doubt, the greatest portraitist of the 20th century, if not any other century.

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

  • I never work with music. I hate background music, always did. I only like music in the foreground, meaning, deliberately listen to it, actually.

  • You must plan to be spontaneous.

  • Well, in Bradford I could say I was brought up in Bradford and Hollywood

  • I think probably something big can be done with cameras, I'm not saying, er, I'm saying chemical photography's finished, that means you can't have a Cartier Bresson again, you need never believe pictures.

  • Before he did all those lovely line drawings, Matisse would make really detailed charcoal drawings and tear them up. He wouldn't leave them about... I understand what he was doing: discovering what's there... to make the line meaningful, to find a linear solution...

  • The urge to draw must be quite deep within us, because children love to do it.

  • There's a Chinese proverb that says it all: Painting is an old man's art.

  • With watercolour, you can't cover up the marks. There's the story of the construction of the picture, and then the picture might tell another story as well.

  • I think we're in a very exciting time - visually, I think we are. I've not got a crystal ball. I'm not saying I know what the future is at all. In some ways I'm getting quite pessimistic about the future, but in other ways I think it might get better. We are moving into very big changes.

  • Until cubism, all art, all pictures, could be 'read' by anybody. If this hadn't been so, the Christian message wouldn't have been seen by peasants and its importance would have been diminished.

  • I think cubism has not fully been developed. It is treated like a style, pigeonholed and that's it.

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

  • I actually think the deafness makes you see clearer. If you can't hear, you somehow see.

  • Because I'm interested in depiction, representation, therefore you're interested in photography. You don't ignore it.

  • Photography hankers after the condition of the neutral observer. But there can be no such things as a neutral observer. For something to be seen, it must be looked at by somebody, and any true and real depiction must be an account of the experience of that looking.

  • Smoking calms me down. It's enjoyable. I don't want politicians deciding what is exciting in my life.

  • It's all one to me: opera, painting, drawing, faxes.

  • I think the ambiguity of similarity and difference is very powerful. It's the same scene in different times of year read across the grid, and, of course, different locations reading vertically. But you can get confused and lost in the series. You force the mind, which is always comparing and contrasting, to stumble ... That ambiguity is very powerful. One is getting lost and refinding oneself.

  • I can often tell when drawings are done from photographs, because you can tell what they miss out, what the camera misses out: usually weight and volume - there's a flatness to them.

  • It is very good advice to believe only what an artist does, rather than what he says about his work.

  • Most artists work all the time, they do actually, especially good artists, they work all the time, what else is there to do? I mean you do.

  • Every good artist I know, I always think works hard, we're working all the time.

  • An artist might be attracted to hedonism, but of course an artist is not a hedonist. He's a worker, always.

  • The high-definition picture is still a perspective picture. That's the real problem, the perspective picture.

  • The choice is not between drugs and no drugs, but between illegal drugs and legal drugs. Until the 1920s drugs were legal, why not now? Lots of people are on drugs anyway - it is called medication.

  • Until I saw my drawings replayed on the iPad, I'd never seen myself draw. Someone watching me would be concentrating on the exact moment, but I'd always be thinking a little bit ahead. That's especially so in a drawing where you are limiting yourself, a line drawing for example. When you are doing them you are very tense, because you have to reduce everything to such simple terms.

  • I made a photograph of a garden in Kyoto, the Zen garden, which is a rectangle. But a photograph taken from any one point will not show, well it shows a rectangle, but not with ninety degree angles.

  • Style is something you can use, and you can be like a magpie, just taking what you want.

  • Style is something you can use, and you can be like a magpie, just taking what you want. The idea of the rigid style seemed to me then something you needn't concern yourself with, it would trap you.

  • Modernism in a way, early modernism, for instance, in pictures, was turning against perspective and Europe . And all early modernism is actually from out of Europe, when you think of cubism is African, is looking at Africa, Matisse is looking at the arabesque, Oceania. Europe was the optical projection that had become photography, that had become film, that became television and it conquered the world.

  • OH, I LIKE smoking, I do. I smoke for my health, my mental health. Tobacco gives you little pauses, a rest from life. I don't suppose anyone smoking a pipe would have road rage, would they?

  • There are enough no smoking places now.

  • There's no-one up there in Northern Norway , food's terrible, but it's very, very beautiful to look at, if you've got eyes, and enjoy looking.

  • Perspective is a law of optics... The Chinese did not have a system like it. Indeed, it is said they rejected the idea of the vanishing point in the eleventh century, because it meant the viewer was not there, indeed, had no movement, therefore was not alive.

  • People from the village come up and tease me: 'We hear you've started drawing on your telephone.' And I tell them, 'Well, no, actually, it's just that occasionally I speak on my sketch pad,'

  • The vanishing point leads to the missiles of today, which can take us out of this world. It could be that the west's greatest mistakes were the 'invention' of the external vanishing point and the internal combustion engine.

  • Photoshop came out of painting, and now it's going back to painting.

  • Loads of people, particularly artists, hate pretty pictures. Now I've never met anyone who didn't like a pretty face.

  • I can get excitement watching rain on a puddle. And then I paint it. Now, I admit, there are not too many people who would find that exciting. But I would. And I want life thrilling and rich. And it is. I make sure it is.

  • Always live in the ugliest house on the street - then you don't have to look at it.

  • I do do a lot of talking, because it saves me listening.

  • The thing with high-tech is that you always end up using scissors.

  • You always need a bit of low-tech.You always need a pair of scissors, it seems to me. You can do better things.... The high-tech, somehow, you do have to combine it with low-tech things.

  • Photographs aren't accounts of scrutiny. The shutter is open for a fraction of a second.

  • You can't believe any picture nowadays, if it's digital. You can't really believe. If you see me shaking hands with Mr. [Barack] Obama, it doesn't mean I ever met him, does it?

  • I went to art school actually when I was sixteen years old.

  • I thought the iPhone was great, but this takes it to a new level - simply because it's eight times the size of the iPhone, as big as a reasonably-sized sketchbook... Anyone who likes drawing and mark-making will like to explore new media.

  • Drawing is rather like playing chess: your mind races ahead of the moves that you eventually make.

  • We live in an age where the artist is forgotten. He is a researcher. I see myself that way.

  • People tell me they open my e-mails first, because they aren't demands and you don't need to reply. They're simply for pleasure.

  • Shadows sometimes people don't see shadows. The Chinese of course never paint them in pictures, oriental art never deals with shadow. But I noticed these shadows and I knew it meant it was sunny.

  • I was 18 when I first visited London, I'm very provincial like that, but I must confess the moment I got to America I thought: This is the place. It was more open, with 24-hour cities and pubs and restaurants that didn't close.

  • I'm a bit of a propagandist.

  • I don't value prizes of any sort.

  • Enjoyment of the landscape is a thrill.

  • The video camera dominates art. It's a bore, it makes everything look a bit the same. If you look at things with a pencil and paper in your hand, you are going to see far more.

  • Of course you can still paint landscape - it's not been worn out.

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

  • I'm very attracted to the great open spaces of the West.

  • Being able to draw means being able to put things in believable space. People who don't draw very well can't do that.

  • All painters are interested in photography to a certain extent.

  • I'm a bit claustrophobic, I don't like crowds, I live by the sea - that's what I see when I come out of my house in Bridlington.

  • I'm a bit claustrophobic, I know that now.

  • Laugh a lot. It clears the lungs.

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

  • But, I would always be thinking of how pictures are constructed and colour, how to use it, I mean you're using it for constructing, makes you think about it, the place did as well.

  • Who's going to ask a painter to see a diploma? They'd say, 'Can I see your paintings?', wouldn't they?

  • The mind is the limit. As long as the mind can envision the fact that you can do something, you can do it, as long as you really believe 100 percent.

  • When you stop doing something, it doesn't mean you are rejecting the previous work. That's the mistake; it's not rejecting it, it's saying, 'I have exploited it enough now and I wish to take a look at another corner.'

  • Yes, I did, I mean I painted er, in a kind of abstract expressionist way, because of course that was exciting.

  • All film directors, even the ones using 3-D today, want you to look at what they chose.

  • I generally only paint people I know, I'm not a flatterer really.

  • A belief is like a guillotine, just as heavy, just as light.

  • Britain is a very small country with a very large press.

  • I think the Enlightenment is leading us into a dark hole, really.

  • Who would have thought that the telephone would bring back drawing?

  • I think my father would have liked to have been an artist, actually. But I think he didn't quite have perhaps the drive or, I don't know, I mean he had a family to bring up I suppose.

  • The moment rules over everything.

  • I paint what I like, when I like and where I like.

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

  • I have always believed that art should be a deep pleasure...ther e 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.

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

  • California is always in my mind.

  • I think Iā??m greedy, but Iā??m not greedy for money - I think that can be a burden - Iā??m greedy for an exciting life.

  • 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.

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