As David Hockney’s retrospective exhibition which brought together a selection of his most famous works celebrating his achievements in painting, drawing, print, photography and video across six decades comes to a close this weekend at Tate Britain, we thought we would take a closer look at his dachshunds Stanley and Boodgie who have become a constant source of his inspiration.
The multimedia artist—who is known for his vast array of work —introduced his dogs to the world in Dog Days (Thames & Hudson), a collection of paintings of a pair of small dogs with big personalities. The result of sharp observation and affection, these paintings and drawings are lyrical studies in form and design while the text by Hockney gives a glimpse of how to work with models who don't necessarily want to sit still.
“From September 1993, I painted and drew my dogs. This took a certain amount of planning, since dogs are generally not interested in Art (I say generally only because I have now come across a singing dog). Food and love dominate their lives.
I make no apologies for the apparent subject matter. These two dear little creatures are my friends. They are intelligent, loving, comical and often bored. They watch me work; I notice the warm shapes they make together, their sadness and their delights. And, being Hollywood dogs, they somehow seem to know that a picture is being made.’ – David Hockney
In addition to being the source of inspiration of ‘Dog Day’s’ both Stanley and Boodgie act as guides through the pages of the new book Meet the artist: David Hockney by illustrator Rose Blake. In typical Hockney fashion, the art activity book is colourful, vibrant, and irresistibly inviting with plenty of space for the reader’s own inspired creations. A fun and playful book for those of all ages and especially all of us dog lovers.