‘I’m still smoking and enjoying it enormously’: David Hockney, 84, says he finds wellness ‘boring’ as he calls the concept ‘ridiculous’ and ‘too bossy’

  • Artist David Hockey rubbishes the concept of wellness, branding it ‘ridiculous’
  • The painter, 84, confirms his love for smoking and refuses to go to a gym
  • He spoke out after buying 40 beer matts from a provocative London artist
  • Mr Bingo’s eye-catching drinks coasters declare owners ‘bored of wellness’ 

David Hockney has declared himself ‘bored of wellness’ and declared it ‘ridiculous and bossy’ – after buying £85 of beermats emblazoned with the phrase.

The Portrait of an Artist painter, 84, purchased 40 of the provocative coasters, which were created by London illustrator Mr Bingo.

Committed smoker Hockney, whose works have fetched £71million, branded the idea of wellness ‘ridiculous’ in a letter to the artist.

He wrote back to Mr Bingo after he asked permission to reveal the famous artist had bought some of his products.

Hockney replied back: ‘I, too, am bored with wellness. The concept seems ridiculous and too bossy for me.

‘I’m still smoking and enjoying it enormously.

‘I have never been to a gym in my life. I walk a bit slower and not so far, but I am still working away every day.

‘I have a show in Paris of a work 90 metres long that shows a whole year in Normandy. Love life.’

Artist David Hockey rubbishes the concept of wellness, branding it ‘ridiculous’ in letter

He spoke out after buying 40 beer matts from a provocative London artist Mr Bingo

The painter, 84, confirmed his love for smoking and refusal to ever to go to a gym

Hockney, who was born in Bradford, has spoken out about health and his love for cigarettes in previous years.

He had been living in Los Angeles until relatively recently but quit the US after 50 years over strict smoking rules.

Hockney told the Wall Street Journal on relocating to France: ‘I’d like to just work and paint,

‘The French know how to live. They know about pleasure.

‘I’m going to die of either a smoking-related illness or a nonsmoking related illness’.

He bemoaned last year that Briitain had become intolerant of smokers and treated them in a ‘mean-spirited’ way.

Hockey also gave his own thoughts on how he managed to keep a youthful spirit.

He said painting and a ‘few nights of nice sex’ were his secret tonics an an unseen documentary.

The painter added to Hockney Uncut: ‘I’m not very social, I don’t go out that much. Frankly my life consists of reading and painting and a few nights of nice sex. 

David Hockney’s Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) acrylic on canvas painted in 1972

What is wellness? 

The Global Wellness Institute describes it as neither a passive or active state – but a pursuit of intentions, choices and actions to achieve ‘an optimal state of health and wellbeing’.

It adds: ‘Wellness is linked to holistic health—that is, it extends beyond physical health and incorporates many different dimensions that should work in harmony.

‘Wellness is an individual pursuit—we have self-responsibility for our own choices, behaviors and lifestyles—but it is also significantly influenced by the physical, social and cultural environments in which we live.

‘Wellness is often confused with terms such as health, wellbeing and happiness. While there are common elements among them, wellness is distinguished by not referring to a static state of being (i.e., being happy, in good health, or a state of wellbeing). Rather, wellness is associated with an active process of being aware and making choices that lead toward an outcome of optimal holistic health and wellbeing.’

‘When you realise you’ve got something really good to do, at my age, you get very, very excited,’ he said in the footage shared by the Art Newspaper.

‘It made me feel a lot younger, fitter,’ he said. ‘I realised: that’s a stimulant. You’re living. Life is exciting, interesting, thrilling.’ 

Last night Mr Bingo said being contacted by Hockney and having some of his art purchased by him had been a moment he would always treasure.

He told The Telegraph: ‘I’m amazed and thrilled that David Hockney bought my beer mats. It’s the greatest compliment to have your favourite artist in the world buy a thing that you made. It really means a lot and I now like him even more.

‘You never think you’ll ever have any contact with someone like that, as you put them on a god like pedestal. A mythical figure who only exists in books on my shelf and art gallery walls I’ve stared at.

‘What I’m bored of is wellness being constantly shoved down my throat. Everywhere I look (social media, press, advertising) I see wellness and I’m bored of it. There’s too much wellness, we don’t need anymore wellness. Wellness is good for you supposedly but the problem is, it’s not fun. Wellness is boring.

‘I had a good life from 1979 to 2018 where I didn’t really know about Wellness and everything was fine. I didn’t know about it and I didn’t need it.

‘People are so obsessed with wellness now and they’re all trying to be happy all of the time and live to 140 years old. But I don’t think they’re going look back on their lives and have any fun stories to tell.’

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