David Hockney has been doodling at Piccadilly Circus.
We’ve seen our fair share of station makeovers here at Secret London, from Oxford Circus’ PS5-inspired glow-up, to the punderful change that saw Piccadilly Circus catapulted into the Star Trek universe. Now, there’s a brand new art attack on the London Underground, as famed painter David Hockney has been let loose on Piccadilly Circus, which appears to be becoming something of TfL’s canvas recently.
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
As newly re-elected Mayor Sadiq Khan explains, this is merely the first step in a public art programme to help kickstart London’s tourism industry once again. In commissioning David Hockney to glam up Piccadilly Circus, we’re treated to the artist’s playful sensibilities and joyous reimagining of the Tube roundel, providing levity in a time when we need it most.
That’s one side of the argument.
For the other, let’s turn to Twitter for what I’m sure will be a thoughtful, considered response:
God, that’s shit.
— Ross Dyer (@RossDyerTV) May 12, 2021
It looks like a contest entry from a toddler:
“Design a logo combining McDonalds and Burger King”
— Jay Beecher (@Jay_Beecher) May 12, 2021
Safe to say that this particular art project didn’t exactly land gracefully, then. What it did do, however, was provide ample opportunity for people to submit their own offerings:
— Rick Burin (@rickburin) May 11, 2021
I would like to submit my art for consideration pic.twitter.com/JgcbnNrI40
— George Tuckley (@georgetuckley2) May 11, 2021
Serious props for this one:
Can’t wait for the full roll out pic.twitter.com/PZLva6D3WH
— Greer Riddell (@greerstorm) May 11, 2021
I mean, if the plan was to start a public art renaissance, this has worked a treat. It’s also provided fertile ground for comedy, which is, I suppose, the best we can hope for from Twitter:
— Specsavers (@Specsavers) May 11, 2021
Love it or hate it, the new artwork is here until May 16 – and it won’t be the last new artwork revealed, as the new ‘Let’s Do London’ campaign has £7 million to play with. It’s the biggest-ever tourism campaign for London, so expect to see plenty more happenings around the city over the coming months. Maybe they’ll be a tad less divisive, though?
In other art news, Yayoi Kusama is bringing two infinity rooms to Tate Modern from next week.
Also published on Medium.