He installs a control panel and twelve speakers in his vintage red convertible Mercedes. He names My Wagner Drive this unprecedented audio-landscape work that has no meaning outside his usual transit on the highway.
At that time Hockney is not very active in his main occupation as a graphic artist. He wants his art to be happy but many of his friends are dying of AIDS. Wagner's road helps him against his doubts.
On May 16 in New York, Sotheby's sells Pacific Coast Highway and Santa Monica, oil on canvas 198 x 305 cm painted in 1990, lot 21 estimated $ 20M.
This painting is an accumulation of rare colors in closed surfaces. Its naive geometric composition meets the taste of the classical Chinese landscape that brings together several observation points for a more spectacular effect, in opposition to works inspired by photography. The winding road is the only evidence of a human intervention.
Later in a trend towards monumental painting, Hockney will divide the landscape into a grid of autonomous canvases, confirming that even when his subject is unique his point of observation is not. Painted in 1998 the 169 x 167 cm view of the Grand Canyon is an example of this once again unconventional phase. This study in fifteen parts was sold for £ 6M including premium by Sotheby's on October 5, 2017.
SOLD for $ 28.5M including premium