Sick of those Qigong sessions? Wolverine claws not doing it? Medical grade charcoal drink less tasty than it once seemed? Then you have a soulmate in David Hockney, who finds wellness boring, bossy and ridiculous.
His views on the vast, seemingly unstoppable industry have been revealed after Hockney’s assistant bought 10 packs of beer mats featuring an image of an ashtray and a cigarette along with the words: “Bored of wellness.”
They were made by an artist called Mr Bingo. He was so chuffed at someone he considers “the world’s greatest living artist” buying them that he asked Hockney if he could talk about it on social media.
Bradford-born Hockney replied yes and added: “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.”
Mr Bingo – Bingo to his friends – told the Guardian he was thrilled to get a response from the artist and the positive comments on Twitter and Instagram were a joy. “It is amazing that he’s bought something. Personalmente, he is my favourite artist so it is the biggest compliment you can get when your hero buys something off you … it is pretty amazing.”
On the beer mats themselves Bingo said it was up to other people to decide what he might be saying, what his message was, if any. “I’m not one of these people who makes artist statements or really talks about it. I just want people to look at it and decide what they like.”
è, anche se, understood that Bingo does do Qigong, yoga and has had the odd craniosacral therapy session so his views may not be fully aligned with those of Hockney. It could also be that Bingo, like many, is exasperated at how huge and money-oriented the wellness industry has become. One estimate has put its global value at $4.2tn.
Clearly the last person to be adding to that figure is 84-year-old Hockney, who moved to rural Normandy in late 2019 to paint the changing landscape. His daily iPad sketches documenting the arrival of spring were exhibited to acclaim at the Royal Academy of Arts in London this year.
Inspired by the Bayeux tapestry, he has created a huge frieze depicting a year in Normandy, currently on display at Paris’s Musée de l’Orangerie.