Mr. Hockney looking rather pope-like
Dear Mr. Hockney,
Who died and left you king of Art History? A friend of mine recently loaned me your lovely-to-look-at-but-completely-asinine book, pompously titled Secret Knowledge as if you are the vessel and purveyor of said knowledge. I have asked myself more than once if it was the time of month that the book was given to me that pissed me off disproportionately, or if I would feel this way say, one week from now. Then I remembered seeing the 60 Minutes segment about you and your rather earth shaking discovery a few years ago and how I felt similarly irritated at that time which makes me inclined to dismiss the PMS theory.
Let me get this straight. Do you mean to tell me that you actually do not believe that a realistic coat of armor could not be produced by the finest painter in the land without having had the aid of a device that helped the artist “outline” the thing? That it would not be possible to get proper perspective on a rug that had linear lines without optics? That Ingres could not have simply made an error when he drew a woman’s body smaller than her head rather than attributing it to the fact that they took a lunch freaking break and when he came back the camera lucida was in a different position? And Mr. Hockney I canNOT for the life of me understand what you are talking about when you analyse the Vermeer painting of the milkmaid pouring milk when you say the basket in front is “out of focus” whereas the basket in the back is not and that this constitutes proof of the use of optics since the eye does not see that way. The reason I don’t understand this is that the basket in front is NOT “out of focus” leaving me scratching my head going “what is he TALKING about???” I think your eyes are out of focus Mr. Hockney, as are many of your theories. Okay, I will believe that some artists used (and continue to use, wink wink Mr. Hockney) devices to project and scale and help us get a proportionate realistic rendering, but it does not mean it cannot be done any other way. In fact, I have tried it before, and found it to be such an incredible hassle that it did not seem at all worth it to me. I can render just fine without devices thank you.
There are so many instances of this kind of stretch of “secret knowledge” in this book which is gorgeous eye candy but so low on content that I seeth as I read it because it appears a total ruse to sell a book. Now don’t you all run out and buy it and patronize him just because I have peaked your interest here. But next time you’re in the book store, and no one is looking, take a look for yourself.
Just make sure it’s the right time of the month.