This paper will analyze British-born artist David Hockney's painting titled "Mulholland Drive: The Road to the Studio,"
(1980) which is currently housed in the Robert O. Anderson Building at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Tulman, 1986, pp. 88-89). The discussion will be divided into the following four categories: materials; associations; process; and structures. The four parts of this paper will be used to explore the various aspects of the artwork as well as to explain many of the subtle characteristics of Hockney's famous acrylic painting.
The medium which David Hockney used for his painting "Mulholland Drive: The Road to the Studio" (hereinafter referred to as "Mulholland Drive") is that of acrylic on canvas (Tulman, 1986, p. 95).
However, Hockney does not use acrylic paint by itself to achieve the effect he desires in his painting. The artist also etches both straight and wavy lines into the wet acrylic medium to achieve a scratched effect, almost as if the artist had run his fingernails through a crayon drawing. Parts of the painting, like the primary red and blue short painted lines over a white background, reveal the acrylic medium in its simplest form. However, the parts where Hockney has scratched the acrylic have the effect of disguising the medium. Apparently, the artist intended to disguise the medium in parts of his gigantic painting to achieve a quasi-mixed medium effect.
Hockney also employed the visual element of the etched straight and wavy lines to achieve a feeling of movement. Indeed, as Hockney himself revealed, once he moved into a new house in the Hollywood Hills and began his work "depicting the drive down to the studio . . . wiggly lines began appearing" in
the painting, and prior to Hockney's commencing work on "Mulholland Drive," "the only wiggly lines that [he had] had in
[his) L.A. paintings were those on water" (Tuchman and Barron, 1988, pp. 84-85). Thus, the wiggly line...