Regular readers will know that my regularly delivered rag is the Daily Telegraph. Today I saw the Guardian at the local supermarket and the picture on the front page caused me to shell out £1.20 for a copy. As it was, the picture and the strapline above told the whole story.
Earlier this year, according to the Guardian article, 650,000 people went to see A Bigger Splash at the Royal Academy. I don’t know about the other 649,998 people but the Management and I were very impressed by the exhibition – I’d go as far as to say it was the most inspiring show I’ve seen.
Winter Timber (2009) was one of the main paintings in the Hockney exhibition. A significant feature of this painting was ‘the totem’, a 12 foot high dead tree stump.
“It was something that I rather enjoyed,” he says of the old tree. “It had been cut down a while back because it was dead but I liked the way it was and I said to the landowners: ‘Leave it that way’ and they did, and somebody else comes along with a big saw. It must have taken two hours to do.”
According to the article, Hockney “is convinced the stump was targeted because it had become possibly the most famous piece of dead wood in Britain after he portrayed it in several of his acclaimed landscapes of the countryside around his home in Bridlington. “It is something that has made me depressed. It was just spite. There are loads of very mean things here now in Britain.””
My title above is ‘why?’. Can anyone explain to me the why behind this vandalism? I nearly said ‘mindless’ vandalism, but does someone spend two hours of labour on something that is mindless?
When my son was a teenager he used to go rock climbing. There was a problem occasionally with people/idiots/vandals who deliberately broke off holds on climbs with hammers, often making enjoyable, challenging routes unclimbable. The reason? Sorry, I never understood.
Nowadays, the interweb thingy is crawling with trolls who seem to have no other agenda but destroying the pleasure of others. Again, why?
Meanwhile, Hockney has now created several sketches of the stump. “I’m just drawing it,” he says. “That’s how I react to it.” That sounds like grief to me.