Looking at paintings, David Hockney and the exhibition “two step”


It’s all culture here at present. Last week a trip to London, to see Jasper Johns amongst other things and a visit to the National portrait gallery to see what was on there. Neither disappointed, though the permanent collection of portraits of the Royals are curiously dreadful. Appallingly sycophantic stuff. There was however an exhibition of portrait drawings from the renaissance, which were brilliant in every respect. Having those faces from so many hundreds of years ago looking back at you was quite something, and you could get close. One had to deal with the “exhibition two-step’ of course which is a sort of dance step where you avoid others also trying to look, with the occasional murmured “sorry”. Perhaps they should put little footprints on the floor to help.

This week it’s the “LitFest”, as we call it here in Cheltenham. I went to a talk by a couple of David Hockney ‘people’, that is people who’d made books and programmes about him. Chaired by Will Gompertz, the BBC arts correspondent who looks like everyone’s favourite history teacher ( The History Teacher ), it was an entertaining and absorbing hour. Is it a coincidence that this Will might be a teeny weeny bit similar to the Will in W1A, the BBC series about the BBC? ( Will at the BBC )

The talk was not quite absorbing enough for the bloke sitting next to me as he promptly fell asleep. Perhaps he books these tickets for a bit of peace and quiet. Hockney is one of the great drawers too.

More tickets booked for this culture fest in the coming week, and a trip over to Tewkesbury to see my chum Alan Blethyn’s exhibition. I hope he gets enough visitors that they need to do the exhibition “two-step” too.

I might even do a bit of drawing myself.