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Secret Knowledge

BBC World Presents: David Hockney’s Secret Knowledge

Yesterday I was shown a fascinating and intriguing exposé documentary on the origins of the “camera obscura,” which is the first known use of optics in the creation of art. For those who don’t dispute the evidence of its existence, this primitive lens system (utilized several centuries before the invention of the modern camera) marked the birthplace of realism painting in 1420.

After about 15 minutes of the video, the phenomenal significance of this research dawned on me. Because although I’d previously known about the camera obscura, I had never investigated the full story in any depth–and never realized the profound implications it has on the placement of my and all other realist painters’ art, in the canon of art history. Thanks to this video, I’ve had a very encouraging revelation about the tradition I am participating in, and I’m honored to be carrying on a nearly 600-year-old lineage into the future, adding my drop of life’s work into this magnificent bucket.

Thankfully, some kind soul has uploaded the entire video on YouTube. If you’re a nerd, an artist, or both you’ll surely enjoy:


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