Live from the Hockney Private View

Tuesday 17th January 2012

Well, not quite. But just this minute back.

Jammed up against Sir Caine and Lady Shakira in the crush to get in, she superb for 65.

But Harry Rollo’s already seen it – shown round by the artist!

You must love this exhibit. Vulgar, common, amateur – that’s what the critics will say. But they’ve never been in the countryside.  Nor seen Van Gogh. Nor remember Hockney in the 60s and 70s for what he was, the artist.

Respec’ called for.

I had a quiet word with Jasper in the first room. Royston King used me as his plus one; he distributes millions to restoration projects in London: committees, trustees, head of this, head of that… head of the Museum of Garden History, in fact, head of Dulwich Picture Gallery… all met. ‘You wouldn’t want Vancouver,’ Royston boomed. ‘Quite pleasant to go for the interview… were you in for the V and A?’

Royston asked me how many black people were there. ‘They wouldn’t let me in when I came for the Royal Academy dinner in the summer. Now…’ turning to another, ‘you’re enormously distinguished. I heard Nicholas saying there’d have been no Leonardo without you. He’s giving you the credit….Ah, Sir Ian…. ‘

I said to Sir Ian, I said, ‘We must remember what Hockney did for Gays.’ ‘And you too, what you’ve done for Gays, Sir Ian,’ Royston put in. Sheila Hancock flitted by and that Lord of BP who got into slight eau chaude over an escort. Melvyn, of course, and Nicholas Serota, and the artist of the Olympics, Zandra and SIR BOBLAND GELDOFF, then Andrew Marr (awful shirt).

But the art! the art! You might be horrified but if you know flowers and nature, you’ll see – it’s all right. That’s what flowers really look like, those colours are in nature – almost. And the sheer quantity of it, 4 or 5 large rooms at the Academy just bursting with new work, the energy and exuberance. This is why Hockney went out of fashion – just too fucking delightful.

Sir Bobland was so understanding when the waitress dropped the empty wineglasses. He almost had the vac out. Lord Halifax was seen collecting his bag from the cloakroom, identified for me by head of heritage Yorkshire whom Royston was grilling about the Hockney Yorkshire love life. ‘Gays never stay together,’ Royston declared. ‘My wife went and died on me,’ said Yorkshire heritage, quite socially.

Posted Tuesday, January 17, 2012 under Adrian Edge day by day.

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