On Tuesday, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan revealed that the city’s Piccadilly Circus underground station would be plastered wall-to-wall with a digital drawing from famed British artist David Hockney that was little more than a misshapen yellow circle — a derivative of the London Tube logo — and the station name “Piccadilly Circus” crammed into a space so tiny that the artist left “S” hanging below the rest of its alphabetic compadres in a separate line below.
Here’s how Artnet described it: “A jejune design that recalls Windows 98-era of Microsoft Paint, Hockney’s interpretation of the iconic London tube logo boasts a malformed, highlighter-yellow ‘O’ and a station name board the color of everyone’s favorite purple dinosaur. The artist even ran out of space for the words ‘Piccadilly Circus,’ cramming in a rogue ‘s’ below.”
“Brilliant work from David Hockney in Piccadilly—the first of a series of major art projects we’ve commissioned as part of our brand new #LetsDoLondon campaign. Lots more to come very soon!” Sadiq Khan said in his post as he unveiled the new “art” installment. Behold the British taxpayer dollars at work:
Brilliant work from David Hockney in Piccadilly—the first of a series of major art projects we’ve commissioned as part of our brand new #LetsDoLondon campaign. Lots more to come very soon! #DavidHockney pic.twitter.com/djW8BGSNuu
— Mayor of London (@MayorofLondon) May 11, 2021
Outside of the Piccadilly Circus station, wandering pedestrians are also invited to feast their eyes on a series of Hockney’s digital paintings, including one that featured no discernible drawings whatsoever, displaying only the words, “Remember that you cannot look at the sun or death for very long.” According to the Daily Mail, the art displays are part of Khan’s £7m “Let’s Do London” campaign that seeks to bolster tourism in the city in the waning days of the COVID-19 pandemic:
Labour incumbent Mr. Khan formally signed in for a second term on stage at Shakespeare’s Globe this morning unveiling the £7 million-plus ‘Let’s Do London’ campaign as an immediate priority.
The programme, which has been developed and funded in partnership with the city’s hospitality, culture, and retail industries, is aimed at bringing in a wealth of domestic tourism to help London’s economy get back on its feet as Covid-19 restrictions are eased.
The features will range from celebrations of London’s food offerings, to a variety of new public art installations including a redesign of Transport for London’s iconic ‘Hockney Circus’ roundel in a special artwork from David Hockney.
In summer, the city’s museums, galleries and cultural and grassroots music venues will have extended opening hours, while major creative festivals such as London Fashion Week will return to the capital in autumn.
Some Londoners did not agree with Khan’s take on Hockney’s work:
“If you had said this was a children’s competition to redesign the logo and this was the winner I’d have equally believe it,” said one user.
If you had said this was a children’s competition to redesign the logo and this was the winner I’d have equally believe it
— Freddie Collier (@FreddieCollier) May 11, 2021
“Listen. I respect art. I do. But I’ve seen better work on Fiverr. Is there a message I am missing? Like is the S meant to mean Sadiq taking London over the edge? What’s the point?” said another user.
Listen. I respect art. I do. But I've seen better work on Fiverr.
Is there a message I am missing? Like is the S meant to mean Sadiq taking London over the edge?
What's the point?
— georgegaz (@georgegaz) May 11, 2021
“Don’t get me wrong, I love some art. But how much did this cost? And isn’t TFL practically bankrupt? Can’t believe you got re-elected,” tweeted another.
Don’t get me wrong, I love some art. But how much did this cost? And isn’t TFL practically bankrupt? Can’t believe you got re-elected 🤦🏼♂️
— Seamus (@Seamus__Duff) May 11, 2021
“London: ‘David, you said you’d have something to us by today?’ *crashing noise* London: ‘David? Are you there?’ *panicked scribbling sounds* David Hockney: ‘Yes, yes. Just sending it…'” tweeted Luke Benson.
London: “David, you said you’d have something to us by today?”
London: “David? Are you there?”
*panicked scribbling sounds*
David Hockney: “Yes, yes. Just sending it…”
— Luke Benson (@Mr_LukeBenson) May 11, 2021
The Daily Wire is one of America’s fastest-growing conservative media companies and counter-cultural outlets for news, opinion, and entertainment. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.