More about A Bigger Splash
California, here I…come? Puns aside, this here is a semenal- oops, SEMINAL artwork by David Hockney that has become an icon of California livin’.
And why wouldn’t it be? The diving board leads your gaze into the sun-drenched scene: you have palm trees, a director’s chair, the clean lines of a modern Los Angeles dwelling and a pool that has that just-jumped-in look. The bright blue pool with its disturbed stillness is the most intriguing part of the image...and where it takes its title from, duh. Who just jumped in? Was he/she hot??
Knowing David Hockney, it was probably a he. Pictures of buff, tan dudes he saw in Physique Pictorial were quintessentially California for Hockney, and left him yearning to experience Los Angeles for himself. In his mind, LA was the land of laid-back, glamorous and amorous people. And swimming pools became a symbol of that luxury and indulgence in his series of pool paintings. Hockney himself says he was fascinated with the idea of taking two weeks to paint something that only lasts two seconds. But I wonder David, if this could also be about other, far more pleasurable moments that only last a few seconds? Could it be, dare I say, a Freudian drip?
The title of 1975 Jack Hazan biopic A Bigger Splash not only refers to this work, but is also based on Hockney’s relationship with the much younger Peter Schlesinger. The film was released a few years after Hockney’s traumatic breakup with Schlesinger (Hockney was so distraught that he had to start taking Valium!) The movie was also too much for Hockney to take initially, but he eventually gave in and signed release forms so the whole world could appreciate one of the earliest works in gay cinema.
Here is what Wikipedia says about A Bigger Splash
A Bigger Splash is a large pop art painting by British artist David Hockney. Measuring 242.5 centimetres (95.5 in) by 243.9 centimetres (96.0 in), it depicts a swimming pool beside a modern house, disturbed by a large splash of water created by an unseen figure who has apparently just jumped in from a diving board. It was painted in California between April and June 1967, when Hockney was teaching at the University of California, Berkeley. Jack Hazan's fictionalised 1973 biopic, A Bigger Splash, concentrating on the breakup of Hockney's relationship with Peter Schlesinger, was named after the painting.
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