Dick French: On The Town – September 2016

There’s a room in my

flat that I rather grandly refer to as ‘The Library’. About 20 years ago I had it fitted out
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shelves up to the ceiling google_ad_client = "ca-pub-3967079123942817"; with nicely boxed-in corners.
It’s painted deep red. For a

consider the google_ad_client = "ca-pub-3967079123942817"; exhibition, which is interesting but puzzling.

How could such a great draughtsman as Degas have lived with Cézanne’s cack-handed Bather with Outstretched Arms? The universal veneration offered up

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to Cézanne has always been a mystery to me. He did some lovely still lives, but get him away from the fruit and veg and the wonky bottle and jug and he’s just dreadful. Matisse owned a horrible small Cézanne of three bathers,
quite ill drawn src="//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js"> and formless – viridian, yellow ochre and navy blue. Lucien Freud also lived with a nasty little number by Cézanne, L’Après midi à Naples. Freud’s own self-portrait in this show was dismal. Thick paint, once it is dry should

never be painted over. It made me itch. Lord Leighton had a dubious small Tintoretto and Van Dyck had a wonderful Titian.

Well, so much for art.

I wandered up to the National Portrait Gallery to see ‘The Beep’. It’s worse than ever this

they would have
looked much better on wood. The interesting piece among his life drawings google_ad_width = 970; was one of Aphrodite at the Waterhole, Tony

​ Hancocks’ great sculpture from The Rebel.

A large, shell-off crustacean with a head-mounted penis emerges from Barry Humphries’ left sleeve. /* 9-970x90 */ It’s heading for the Dame’s face with her mismatched eyes. I am of course attending the new exhibition of David Hockney’s portraits at

the Royal Academy. Hockney should be congratulated for making a little go a long way. I suppose it’s his Yorkshire thrift. Squeeze out the shrimp paste and mix it here and there with a bit of white. It should be called The Prawn Show. He has an electric motor to make his easel go up and down and employs a “studio manager”. Maybe I should


get one ­– that must be where I’ve been going wrong. He even has someone to squeeze his tubes – and that’s not
intended as a double entendre. He’s quite good at shoes. I think these portraits are meant to be seen as an ‘installation’ and not individually ‘interrogated’. It’s just as well. Hockney is another painter who has never let a happy accident enliven his pictures. What a plodder.

But who am I to slag off a national treasure. Well, I suppose it’s because I’m so bitter and twisted I recommend a good slagging off. It’s much more fun.

A few years ago an artist and good friend of mine, Whingeing Loser in fact, wrote a critical piece about some /* xin-1 */ aspects of the art business, which he showed to someone connected with his local arts council. “You do realise,” this worthy said, “that if you publish this your career google_ad_slot = "8637400688"; will be


over.” To which my friend replied, “What career?”.

Thus was born The Dreadnoughts, we who will slag off anyone. Fear us, we are the future.

Now, some notes on my recent beauty panels…

I like to have things google_ad_height = 90; unfinished and go back to them later, sometimes years later, and then I know


exactly //--> what to do with them. It’s

do a lot of work from the video screen these days. You have to work

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fast because if your equipment is anything

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like mine
it jumps after about ten minutes. It’s just like working from life without the chalk. I get a lot of films from my friend Kenny, who runs an exotic shop on Goodge Street,
and I’ve done a fair bit of ‘Gonzo’ stuff but I find it rather formulaic. I prefer the transitional movements when the figures are moving between partners and may be a bit off-balance. It would be hard to capture any other way except through
photographs but that means you
are using someone else’s choice – by stopping the
films the choice becomes your own.

I’ve been working on my men recently ever since Laura Gascoigne described mine as ‘cyphers’. I think she was right but they’re much better now. I got into this way of working because I like to draw the nude, but my nudes

have to google_ad_slot = "6023194682"; be doing something. I can’t stand pictures of some poor woman shivering by a