22 May 2021

David Hockney needs an English lesson! Tut! Tut!

I watched this very short BBC video on Hockney talking about Van Gogh.

It was charming in the way that he can certainly be, and he is an artist through and through but at one point he said something which took me by surprise. He described Van Gogh as 'a miserable fellow'. It was shocking because I have never heard anyone say such a thing about dear Vincent. I admit that I thought about it for a long time. Something about it hits a false note. I am sure that Hockney did not mean it in a derogatory way, at all. He obviously adores Van Gogh. But still, I found it false.

I have never thought about Vincent Van Gogh in this way, but truthfully, I don't think anyone ever thinks of him this way, it's just not something one would hear about Van Gogh.

One knows that he had a difficult life, even maybe a miserable life. And too, he did live among misery, unmatched perhaps, when he went to the Borinage region of Belgium and lived amongst the poorest of poor miners whose lives he documented in so many drawings and paintings, notably most famous; The Potato Eaters.

But to hear that he was a miserable man! It is a description which denotes that he was an awful man, a scoundrel, an unkind man worthy of four-lettered adjectives attached to his name. Mostly though, it is a misuse of the English Language for any speaker living on either side of the Atlantic. 

Tut Tut!

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