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Client: David Hockney

Apps: Hockney Brushes

Technology/platform: iOS (iPad and iPhone)

In the midst of a pandemic, David Hockney captured the unfolding of spring on his iPad, creating 116 new and optimistic works in praise of the natural world.

We were honoured to be able to facilitate these creations through an iPad/iOS painting app, Hockney Brushes, which we custom built around his requirements, working closely with the artist and his assistants to enable him to work in the way he likes.

The app enables his studio assistants to render the paintings at 16k and beyond for the best quality prints at large scale, as well as render out to high quality 4k videos, and even view the paintings in AR.

The results can be seen in this "virtual tour" video of the exhibition at The Royal Academy, below:

This is what the artist himself had to say about it in his The New Yorker Cover Story:

"Well, I drew on the iPad when it first came out, in 2010. I thought the app Brushes was just the best. But then they altered it: they made it a lot worse; it took you longer to find the brushes. And I stopped using it. In 2018, Jonathan Wilkinson, my technical assistant, said he could make a new app with a mathematician in Leeds. It was rather good, and then I got six or seven new brushes custom made..."

We first saw many of these works during spring, 2020, sent via email. Each day we would find a new Hockney creation, fresh from France. Lifting our spirits even as the full scope of the pandemic began to dawn.

The work made headlines around the world when he released a few images to the media, in this BBC article ("David Hockney shares exclusive art from Normandy, as 'a respite from the news'"), for example.

Hockney AR: The Arrival of Spring

As Hockney studios began to prepare for their Royal Academy exhibition, which opened in 2021, we also added an AR (augmented reality) element to his latest “Arrival of Spring” show/catalogue: the official “Hockney AR” app, available for iOS / iPad and Android, bringing his paintings to life in the immersive realm.

David Hockney: The Arrival of Spring

We're continuing to support the artist, and add new features.