The power of art to heal and change us is well shown by the popularity of the big London exhibitions - the recent one on Leonardo da Vinci, with people getting up in the middle of the night to join the early morning queues for tickets to see 15 of his major pictures together for the first time; and now the current sell-out David Hockney exhibition focusing on his recent paintings back in the north of England, a joyful celebration of nature in all it's finery during the changing seasons, full of happiness and joy. Compare with his 1967 A BIGGER SPLASH, so splendid in its simplicity, when he was the painter of the L.A. scene. No matter how familiar one is with reproductions there is something marvellous about standing in front of the original and seeing the paint strokes - in the digital world where everything is available at a mouse click or two, attending a live event is indeed a novelty. There is nothing like great art to stimulate the emotions - whether painting, music, theatre, cinema ... attending a gallery is just not something to do on a rainy afternoon ! Hockney's "The Arrival of Spring" gives one a marvellous glimpse of nature and spring just around the corner ... ditto the other rooms at the exhibition full of those giant new paintings. What work from someone in their 70s!
Plus now there is a new auction coming up causing quite a stir, with the sale of the only copy of Edvard Munch's THE SCREAM still in private hands. Some reports say it will fetch at least £50 million! It is of course one of the most recognisable art images anywhere - you can even buy a blow-up balloon of the person screaming - and despite being painted in the 1890s it is the very essence and defining image of modernity - one could almost see it as a scream at all the horrors of the last century ... and what is going on today.