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Peter Washing, Belgrade, September

Peter Washing, Belgrade, September
Signed Print

David Hockney

Digital Print, 1976
Signed Print Edition of 80
H 21cm x W 27cm

Critical Review

This signed print by venerated British artist David Hockney is entitled Peter Washing, Belgrade, September. It was released in an edition of 80 in 1976. A photographic print, it captures the nude body of Hockney’s onetime lover and artist, Peter Schlesinger, a recurring subject of Hockney’s work immortalised in the world-famous painting, Portrait Of An Artist (Pool With Two Figures). Hockney’s reflection, and camera, also appear in the image; reflected back to us by way of a mirror, the piece’s disruption of any singular, unifocal ‘way of seeing’ or ‘looking’ can be seen as an extension of Hockney’s artistic philosophy. As in the much celebrated – and much imitated – Photo Collages series, in which Hockney creates composite, multi-perspectival works from a multitude of individual photographs, here Hockney circumvents the limitations of an inherently limited medium – the camera – which he often derided as ‘lazy’, being sure to include more than one perspective within an otherwise singular image. The mirror creates a rhetorically charged mise-en-abyme effect which questions the role of the artist, and the viewer, in creating any given representation of an object or person. A framing device of sorts, this piece recalls the trompe l’œil frames of A Hollywood Collection, and the theatre drop curtain in Hockney And The Stage.

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