The work of British artist David Hockney is being celebrated this month on digital OOH media displays in the big tourist zones of major global cities.
Hockney’s new piece – Remember you cannot look at the sun or death for very long – was created on his iPad while he was stuck like everyone else in quarantine in the past year or so. It is running on screens in NYC Times Square, Los Angeles, London, Tokyo, and Seoul.
The work is billed as offering a powerful symbol of hope and collaboration. As it reaches the screens of Times Square at three minutes to midnight, it transforms: the sun slowly crests a dark horizon, bringing color to the sky and landscape even as it sends shadows across the ground, and then turning brighter and brighter as the sun’s rays spread dramatically across the screen.
Created during quarantine on the artist’s iPad in Normandy, France, Remember you cannot look at the sun or death for very long offers the opportunity for a spontaneous encounter with Hockney’s meditation on the arrival of spring.
“What does the world look like? We have to take time to see its beauty. That’s what I hope my work will encourage people to do when they see it on the large screens.”
— David Hockney, Artist
The artwork will be shown for three minutes every evening throughout the month of May at the following times and locations:
- New York: Times Square across 70+ electronic billboards, at 11:57pm EST
- London: Piccadilly Lights, Europe’s largest screen at 8:21pm (20:21) BST
- Los Angeles: Pendry West Hollywood at 8:21pm (20:21) PST
- Seoul: Coex K-POP Square LED screen at 8:21pm (20:21) KST
- Japan: Yunika Vision, Shinjuku at 09:00am JST
- Online via the CIRCA.ART website every evening at 8:21pm (20:21) BST
The global collaboration was commissioned and curated by the London-based CIRCA, a new platform showcasing digital art in the public space. It coincides with the release of Hockney’s new book Spring Cannot Be Cancelled and his Royal Academy exhibition The Arrival of Spring, Normandy, 2020, which opens in a couple of weeks.
I find this interesting because it appears to be something of a hybrid initiative. These screen takeovers of Times Square and other districts has been done in the past for showing interesting digital art. The difference here is this is a big-time artist and the work coincides with a big gallery showing in the same month.