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'The only things that matter in life are food and love': David Hockney’s emotional lockdown letter on French radio

David Hockney Photo: David Clack

David Hockney has penned an emotional letter about life on lockdown after sending a message of hope earlier this month, which lifted spirits (Do remember they can’t cancel the spring). Hockney wrote the missive to his friend Ruth Mackenzie, the artistic director of the Théâtre Châtelet in Paris, who asked the octogenarian artist to contribute to the daily cultural slot known as #TchatExtra. Hockney’s heartfelt correspondence was read out earlier today on the French public radio station France Inter.

Do remember they can’t cancel the spring © David Hockney

“We came back to Normandy on 2 March and I began drawing these gaunt trees on my iPad,” he writes. “Many [people] tell me these drawings offer respite at this testing time… they are testament to the cycle of life which begins here with the birth of spring… Idiots that we are, we have lost our link with nature even though we are part of it completely. All of this will end one day. What lessons will we learn? I’m 83, I’m going to die. We die because we are born. The only things that matter in life are food and love, in that order, and also our little dog Ruby. I truly believe this, and for me, the basis of art is love. I love life.”