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SUNDAY READING

Art Space

October 12, 1986

The following , by D. C. Denison, is from an interview with artist David Hockney first published in the Boston Globe magazine. Reprinted by permission; 1986 D. C. Denison. Q: You are frequently inspired by geographical settings, aren't you? A: Yes, I've always reacted to place. In a sense it's a reaction to space. For example, the western United States has always thrilled me, in the sense that you get incredible feelings of space. Very un-European. I've been fascinated by that ever since I first went there. I still drive out to the desert frequently because of the space. . . . I often go out to Zion Canyon. It makes you feel humble. There's the violence that made it originally, that pushed the rocks up, and then there's the calmness now. So you have this marvelous paradox there. And somehow or other I know this connects with art--the way you react to space. Q: Have you always been fascinated by the United States? A: Yes. I come from Braxton, a very dark city which in the winter never seems to get much light. I've described the atmosphere there as "Gothic gloom." My father loves the cinema, and when you go to the cinema you slowly realize that's America--California, actually. And it fascinated me, first of all because it was so light. Intuitively, I think, I journeyed toward the light. And then the moment I arrived in California, in January, 1964, I loved it. I reacted to it in all kinds of ways. It was spatial, sensual, sexual--and I've never gotten bored with it. People always ask, "What do you live in L.A. for?" And I just say, "It suits me." Other people ask, "You can't really make art in L.A., can you?" And I've pointed out that some of the great works of art made in the 20th Century were made in L.A. . . . "City Lights," "Modern Times," "Citizen Kane"--great works of art.

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