A typically enigmatic work from David Hockney’s The Blue Guitar series, I Say They Are features disparate elements thrown together in a striking composition in order to highlight their discordance. While mostly made up of monochrome line drawings, the work is dominated by four drips of ink in red, blue, yellow, green and black that appear like melting olympic rings above the fuzzy rug that marks the floor of the scene. Here Hockney appears to be experimenting not just with juxtaposition but the technique of sugar lift aquatint which he learned in Paris while under the tutelage of Aldo Crommelynck who had been Picasso's master printer. While previously his etchings had been mostly monochrome, with perhaps the odd dab of red ink in series such as A Rake’s Progress, with The Blue Guitar we see Hockney creating softly coloured scenes from a much wider palette. Blue of course dominates, but here the colours are fairly equally distributed and heavily saturated, moving away from the more tonal works in the series. Reflecting on these strange compositions, Hockney said that the prints in the series were never intended to illustrate the poem of the same name by Stevens. Instead, he explained, ‘Like the poem, they are about transformations within art as well as the relation between reality and the imagination, so these are pictures and different styles of representation juxtaposed and reflected and dissolved within the same frame’.