David (2017) by Catherine Opie, photographic print, edition of 5, lent from private collection.
Catherine Opie is considered one of the leading photographers of her generation and one of the foremost documntarians of American life. The language of painting has imbued the portraits Opie has made throughout her career, the compositions recalling the Old Master paintings she first saw as a young girl visiting museums through the Mid-West.
David taken from the exhibition Portaits and Landscapes (2017) shares the same qualities as the rest of the series - rich in colour, a sparse and formal composition recalling European 17th century portraiture. Hockney is posed in front of a black drop cloth and theatrically lit, his face rendered in intimate detail. Opie is encouraging the viewer to slow down and stare: in an age of image saturation and high-speed turnover of our visual environment this photograph demands our attention.
Image copyright Catherine Opie, courtesy Thomas Dane Gallery.