The acid test of artistic ability – life drawing sorts the wheat from the chaff, the men from the boys and the boys from the girls. Life drawing with David Cockney shows the artist’s honest and brave approach to the discipline as he demonstrates ‘a typical student drawing’.
Cockney never actually went to Art school, he is self-taught. His father wanted him to become a brain surgeon and refused to sponsor his son’s ‘vain ambition’ – saying ‘people who attend Art school are a bunch of effete, middle-class wankers’. Not to be put off, David honed his skills by drawing from photo reference (porn), occasionally getting his cousin to strip-off and bare her all after Sunday School, when the grown-ups were busy drinking beer and eating seafood down the boozer.
Working as a labourer on building sites, Cockney managed to save enough cash to afford the odd class at a local boxing gym in Bethnal Green.
Confronted by a well endowed maiden and her contumely, David coped with having to ‘stuff down a stiffy’ and make a drawing into the bargain! Knowing the origins of GREAT ART, David kept his cool as he scribbled furiously to appease his strict, pugilistic tutors.
Life drawing with David Cockney is a prurient expose of the early phases of student awareness, as they grapple with the absurdities and nuances of the nude. Cockney frankly observes: ‘they start with the tits’ and ‘they’re always too big’
David Cockney demonstrates how Art students attempt to make sense of an unclothed woman, creating his own drawing in the process – fag in hand. Not that this dates his material (in the 70s, half the nation enjoyed a Harry Rag). Multi-tasking comes easy to the post-post-modern male. Cockney shows flagrant disregard for the current nimby obsession with personal health. Having a ciggy whilst scratching the surface of a sheet of cartridge paper is a perfectly normal thing to do! Fuck the health geeks! What do they know?