He marches sturdily, stolidly on through his eighth decade, sipping at his Bovril as he goes. This month there will be a huge show of recent work in the main galleries of the Royal Academy, where, relatively recently, he hung the largest multi-part landscape painting to have ever almost overwhelmed its walls. Can Hockney, that will-o'-the-wisp of a talent that blazed so bright at the Royal College of Art in the early 1960s, still be going at it? Oh yes, and with no holds barred.
In the last few years, he has been re-discovering the lonely landscapes of his native East Yorkshire, rising at 4am to capture the light. This canny self-publicist has always been in the limelight, but the frank truth of it is that, for all the stumbles, he frankly deserves quite a bit of it. Sweep off your Bradford millionaire's top hat to the man.