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I didn't vote in election - Hockney

Published 14/05/2015

Yorkshire-born David Hockney lives in Los Angeles
Yorkshire-born David Hockney lives in Los Angeles

Painter David Hockney has revealed he did not vote in the general election - and does not "care" about the result.

Hockney, considered Britain's greatest living artist, recently described himself as an anarchist-socialist in a newspaper interview.

But the 77-year-old shrugged off last week's general election, which saw the Conservatives unexpectedly sweep to power and Labour suffer its worst defeat since 1987.

Asked if he followed the election, Hockney, who was born into a working class family in Bradford and now lives in sun-soaked LA, said: "No, I didn't.

Asked if he was disappointed with the result, he said: "I don't care about the result actually. I mean, I don't think it will make much difference."

Later asked if he voted, he said: "No I didn't".

Hockney made the comments at the launch of his new art show, Painting and Photography, at the Annely Juda art gallery in central London.

The exhibition plays with ideas of perspective, and includes group portraits of Hockney's friends and assistants playing cards or sitting together.

Hockney is well known for experimenting with lots of different ways of making arts - drawing, painting and using the iPad.

His work on the iPad was shown at a major exhibition at London's Royal Academy in 2012 and was critically acclaimed.

And he revealed he still "has a few" iPhones, which are just for drawing because he is "too deaf" to answer a call.

But Hockney, who true to form had a quick cigarette before he entered the gallery in a grey suit, red tie and socks and trademark white flat cap, is an ardent advocate of drawing.

He said: "Drawing is essential. When they said 'Oh you can give up drawing now', that is because of the photograph. That's because they thought the photograph was it.

"Well it isn't it. I've proved it actually. I'm showing you here (in the exhibition) it's not it.

"I think drawing is absolutely essential."

Asked if he thought British schools were failing by not putting enough emphasis on teaching drawing, he said he thought the influence of China would see a resurgence in it.

He said: "It will come back because in China they draw. Because it's always back to the drawing board.

"Even if you are drawing on the computer, you have still to use your hand."

Hockney has been exhibiting since the 1960s, and now in his 70s he is getting frailer and is very hard of hearing.

But he has no intention of slowing down, and sticks to a strict regime of going to bed at 9pm so he is fresh for work each day.

He said: "I'm going to go on until I fall over. I've always something to do and I'm going to do it.

"Artists don't retire. You just go on until you fall over. That's all I'll do.

"I like working, what else is there to do?"

The exhibition, Painting And Photography, runs from May 15 to June 27 at the Annely Juda gallery near Oxford Circus in central London.

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