Hockney article lambasts town

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RENOWNED artist David Hockney has been dubbed “the beast of Bridlington” by a national newspaper in a new profile in what it referred to as the “cranky, provocative” Yorkshireman.

Hockney, pictured, who has made a number of trips to Scarborough and ranks the Lanterna as one of his favourite restaurants, has lived in Bridlington since 2005 but also has a home in Los Angeles.

A four-page profile in the Sunday Times yesterday by Bryan Appleyard pays homage to the artist whose recent work includes innovative images on a digital iPad device and oil-on-canvas landscape portraits of East Yorkshire displayed at art galleries in London.

The article covers the range of Hockney’s talents, and includes references to his strong views in favour of smoking Camel Turkish cigarettes and on individual freedom, but is less complimentary about the area he has chosen to live for its effects of light.

Hockney was born in Bradford but he bought a house in Bridlington for his family in 1989. “He likes the fact that the town has stopped dead somewhere around 1955,” says the feature, which adds that Hockney, 73, lives behind a wooden gate with two barking dogs. He also likes the fact that East Yorkshire as a whole comes up in surveys as the worst place in Britain to live.”

The report refers to Bridlington as a “decayed, shabby seaside resort” with “bonkers taxi drivers” and “pale, pimply youths holding fags” and adds: “Even the North Sea seems reluctant to come here”.

“I don’t go out much – it’s more interesting in this house, where you can smoke, drink and enjoy yourself all in the same place at the same time,” Hockney is quoted as saying from the living quarters of his grand, double-fronted and “lavish but odd” 1920s former trawler master’s home.

In revealing that Hockney turned down a knighthood, the writer says that the artist should have been made Lord Hockney of Bridlington.

The wide-ranging Sunday Times spotlight refers to the range and technical artistry of Hockney, whose iconic painting “Mr and Mrs Clark” in the 1970s was one of the most popular in the Tate and was voted one of the UK’s favourite works of art in a BBC poll.