David Hockney : 1987 A Bounce for Bradford

David Hockney : 1987 A Bounce for Bradford

A good friend of Anglozine monsieur Mike Krol designed this seasons summer decal, as seen on the stickers,T-shirts & totes. Based loosely around cricket the bouncing ball bobbling along for a four, was sporty enough. He's based in the Los Angeles U.S and so has zero knowledge of the game- which is ideal.

I knew I'd seen this bouncing ball before. At first it reminded me of the bouncing dot above lyrics in an old school film. Then a flash of sheer art direction broadside, A Bounce for Bradford by David Hockney. I set about sifting through the Anglozine HQ zine archive et voila!

David Hockney already a world renowned artist by 1987 felt compelled to help and support his Yorkshire roots and the city of Bradford where he was born.  The local newspaper Telegraph & Argus reached out to Hockney and he set about creating a limited edition Photolithograph print, with all proceeds being donated to the cities bouncing back campaign.

The newspaper print was originally sold at the 1987 Royal Academy exhibition for just 18 pence. Suffice to say you can't buy anything for 18 pence these days, not even a second class stamp. I tried to buy a sizeable single spring onion from my green grocer last week, it cost 20 pence. 

Hockney first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1976 at the request of his mate Peter Blake.  Hockney, Blake, Boshier, Philips and Boty all featured in the brilliant Pop Goes the Easel BBC doc.  For those out there that have read previous Anglozine zines you'll know I've been lucky enough to have published Q&A's with hero's Derek Boshier and Peter Philips. I've always had a fascination for that crowd, proof that you can be an artist and not a scruffy two bob scratcher.

Some Bradford folk were confused as to the spheres meaning in the print.  Outside of Yorkshire there was no confusion, just an appreciation and the chance to own a masterpiece for under a quid.  Was it a croquet ball, or worse symbolic of the fire ball at the Valley Parade football stadium disaster. I'd like to think it was the ultimate Yorkshire love ode to the game of cricket.  Art is solely down to interpretation anyway right ? Besides when I think of Yorkshire it is, in no particular order: flat tweed caps, Whippets, bottles of bitter and cricket.

I can't think of any other artist that dons cricket like David Hockey, we all know the looks he owns- cricket caps & sweaters.  Most British brands at some stage or another have taken inspiration from Mr.Hockney we've just given a doff of the cap too.

A close second maybe the French painter Claude Monet at Giverny looked like a chum of Mr.cricket W.G.Grace in fact in a pub quiz I seem to remember mixing them up. So I'm saying final answer the Bounce for Bradford sphere by Hockney is a cricket ball. 

 The short article on page 13 states that the newspaper print is indeed an original print and not a mere reproduction. Painted in his Malibu California studio Hockney took the piece naturally very seriously and dedicated a great deal of time to it. Hockney explains that:

'what happens when your presses put the plates together IS the piece. It is, therefore, not a reproduction in the normal sense at all. The only way your image exists in on your page'

The decision to offer an affordable print for the people came about as a reaction to some snooty geezer called Roger at the previous years RA show.  Sir Roger de Grey the R.A's president took umbrage to prints in 1986 of paintings Hockney had sold for around £10K.  Hockney heard of Sir Rogers disdain for supposedly 'ripping off' visitors to the summer show and as a riposte to the criticism printed 100,000 Bounce for Bradfords at 18 pence a pop.  There were no fisty cuffs though, Hockney and Sir Roger worked together right up until 1993.  At that point in time it was important to Hockney to not let the 'establishment' show him how to be successful.


Suffice to say the whole batch sold out and those still in circulation are valued a little more than 18 pence today. The moral of the story and one that many artists come up against is the value of their work, possible imposter syndrome, accessibility and crucially making a living. Perhaps a bold example as Hockney went onto become the first living artist to sell a painting at £70 million - Howzat!




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