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Santa Monica Back in the Cultural Spotlight with David Hockney Painting


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April 27, 2018 -- Santa Monica made international headlines again this week with news that David Hockney's 1990 landscape "Pacific Coast Highway and Santa Monica" will likely fetch between $20 million and $30 million at an auction next month.

If the colorful 10-foot-wide canvas sells at even the lower amount at Sotheby's auction May 16, it would smash the British-born artist's record of $11.7 million set in 2016.

David Galperin, head of the Sotheby’s contemporary art evening auction, called "Pacific Coast Highway and Santa Monica" an "exuberant monumental landscape."

The painting, he said in a statement, is “a true triumph of his singular vision: a panoramic and kaleidoscopic paean to his adopted hometown.”

"Pacific Coast Highway and Santa Monica" by David Hockney
"Pacific Coast Highway and Santa Monica" (Courtesy of Sotheby's)

Although Hockney has never lived or worked in Santa Monica, the 80-year-old artist owns a beach house in Malibu that offers a panoramic view of the Pacific.

"Here we are looking at the edge of the western world," Hockney once said.

"Pacific Coast Highway and Santa Monica" was painted from memory and depicts a daily drive Hockey took with friends.

The painting was in the recent Tate Britain retrospective of the artist's work and appeared on the back cover of Hockney's autobiography "That's The Way I See It."

The large canvas was painted "as Hockney's peers proclaimed the death of painting and instead turned to photography and conceptual art," according to a recent article in the Telegraph.

The work "encapsulates Los Angeles's bright sunlight and bold colours, the very characteristics that drew Hockney away from the grey skies of London," Sotheby's said.

Santa Monica already has garnered headlines this month with the long-awaited release of Neil Young's "Roxy -- Tonight's the Night Live" featuring his band, The Santa Monica Flyers ("Neil Young Puts Santa Monica Back on the Cultural Map," January 30, 2019.)


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