Artist Hockney revels in Normandy lifestyle

Visitors at a previous David Hockney exhibition

"The French know how to live. They know about pleasure," Bradford-born artist says of his decision to leave Los Angeles after 55 years and move to France

British artist David Hockney has moved to Normandy from Los Angeles, his home for much of the past 55 years.

"I'd like to just work and paint," he told the WSJ Magazine. "And to be able to smoke and eat in a restaurant at the same time. Thank God for Normandy. The French know how to live. They know about pleasure."

It is illegal to smoke inside a restaurant in France, but the rules are less strict when meals are taken outside on a terrace, or street.

The Bradford-born artist said of his new French home: "I can do twice as much work there, three times as much … 'I've probably not much time left and because I don't, I value it even more."

His next exhibition, which is due to open in Manhattan in autumn, will feature a 24-panel panorama and four additional works depicting the arrival of Spring in Normandy, seen from his new permanent home - which he bought on a whim in 2018.

'I fell in love with it', he said of the property, which dates back to the 17th century.

It took Hockney 21 days to complete the artwork and will feature his French property in detail.

The work is inspired by traditional Chinese scroll painting, contemporary time-based art, and the Bayeux Tapestry.

Hockney described his relaxing routine in Normandy: waking up early to watch the sun rise, then working in his studio all morning.

He breaks for lunch at midday - his only meal of the day - at a nearby cafe. After an afternoon nap, he works long into the evening, he said.

On 15 November 2018, David Hockney's 1972 painting Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) sold at Christie's for $90.3million with fees. He had originally sold this painting for $20,000 in 1972.

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