news

David Hockney: Gay men have become ordinary and conservative

2015-05-09
Legendary British artist David Hockney has expressed his disappointment that many gay men have become "ordinary", and "conservative", and that he has lost touch with friends and lovers because they became "so boring". v3David-Hockney Speaking to the Guardian ahead of a new London exhibition of his work, the 77 year old bemoaned the new generation of gay men who are settling into civil partnerships and adopting children.  "I suppose it’s that they want to be ordinary," he offered, "they want to fit in. Well, I didn’t care about that. I didn’t care about fitting in. Everywhere is so conservative.” Speaking about San Francisco, where he recently visited, he added, “It’s a very boring city now. Where are the Harvey Milks?” Lamenting the anti-smoking feel that has taken over society, he slipped into a larger commentary on bohemian lifestyles. "Bohemia is gone now. When people say, well wasn’t it amazing saying you were gay in 1960, I point out, well, I lived in bohemia, and bohemia is a tolerant place. You can’t have a smoke-free bohemia. You can’t have a drug-free bohemia. You can’t have a drink-free bohemia." Originally from Bradford, Hockney's career flourished in the 1960s and 1970s, when he flitted between London and California, where he enjoyed an openly gay lifestyle with friends like Andy Warhol and Christopher Isherwood. Much of his work, including the famous Pool Paintings, featured explicitly gay imagery and themes.