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Long Live The David Hockney Facebook Group


I thought Facebook group was no longer a thing. I was wrong. Perhaps it is a side effect of the pandemic year. I have joined a few fairly active Facebook groups myself. Facebook is wicked. It knows things, and it gives you suggestions. Among the many suggestions Facebook has given me, there is the David Hockney Facebook group. I joined. Of course, everybody loves David Hockney. (I am everybody.)

I realised soon enough that it is not all about David Hockney. It is not an official group. The admin isn’t even active. It is a group where people post the works of David Hockney from time to time. It is also a group where younger, non-established artists post their works. There are quite a number of posts every day. Some are pleasant, non-famous works. Comments appear often. Many are friendly. Some are harsh — particularly those who pretend to be art critics. (Or maybe they are, it’s sometimes difficult to tell.) It is okay for critics to be mean though. (Well, I guess.)

But among the David Hockney artworks and the non-David-Hockney artworks, the most bizarre posts happened. There is at least one post a day from a random person complaining about the group and its posts not being about David Hockney, which attracts tons of comments and long, repeated discussions about how David Hockney himself would feel about this group. Some said he would ask the whiners to have a biscuit and chill. Some believed he would condemn it. There are also at least a couple of posts a day from some random people declaring their exits. (Some of them are, however, still in the group after their grand announcements. Sometimes they pop up to continue whining about this group not being David Hockney enough.)

As for me, I enjoy seeing artworks by different artists. I don’t understand why people can’t appreciate creativity for creativity’s sake, and art for art’s sake. I have observed that there is more or less an attitude bred by the notion of art for David Hockney’s sake. (To be fair, the group is named after him. It is just simply “David Hockney”. I understand why some people are disappointed.)

But for whatever’s sake, it is still, after all, just a Facebook group.

I wonder if David Hockney will ever bother to reclaim his name.