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Encounters

©DR / © DR

1991 Franz-Olivier Giesbert

He is absolutely intriguing. He came across as a highly intelligent man quite apart from his achievements in fashion.
I was able to watch him sketching ans it was quite remarkable. He has a form of genius, but it is a masochist genius. He spoke to us cery frankly about his problems.
I was struck by his honesty.
- Franz-Olivier Giesbert

Yves Saint Laurent et David Hockney / Yves Saint Laurent and David Hockney

1991 David Hockney

Yves Saint Laurent paid tribute to David Hockney in 2004, when he awarded him the Rosa d'Oro...

Today, we will honor one of the greatest painters of our time: David Hockney.
The reason I chose him and am delighted to present him with this prestigious decoration is that I have admired his exceptional work for some time. How can I forget the shock I experienced when I discovered the major portion of his work in 1974 at his exhibition at Paris’s Musée des Arts Décoratifs? Or his drawings at a later date at the Galerie Claude Bernard?
I knew then that David Hockney was a painter who would accompany me throughout my life. I have always placed the greatest importance on chromaticism, and we can say that David Hockney is among the greatest colorists of this century, alongside Matisse and Rothko.
He is also an unparalleled draftsman who has joined the ranks of Ingres and Picasso at his best as can be witnessed in his portrait of Sir John Gielgud in the 1970s. And I cannot overlook his recent research on the use of mirrors and lenses by famous painters.
Though I love David Hockney’s entire oeuvre, there is a portion of it which touches me in particular: that which is devoted to the theater.
Since the Russian ballets, painters have been strongly involved in theatrical production. In this regard, one only needs to cite Picasso, Braque, Léger, Goncharova, Larionov, Rouault, Derain, Clavé and many others. David Hockney’s genius could but shine in this field.
Let us take a look at a random selection: The Rake’s Progress, Les Mamelles de Tirésias, The Magic Flute, l’Enfant et les Sortilèges, Parade, Oedipus Rex, etc. In all these works, Hockney shows that he is an absolute master. He has understood that theater is not a pale copy of reality but, as Christian Bérard displayed so well, the confluence of illusion and poetry. 
- Yves Saint Laurent



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