Our cover this month, David Hockney’s Flowers (17 ¼ in. by 13 in.), sold for $12,431 at Sotheby’s recent Prints & Multiples auction in London on April 4, 2017. Considered one of the most influential English artists of his time, he’s known ironically for his vibrant paintings of life in California. A major contributor to the Pop Art movement, Hockney was once quoted as saying, “I prefer to live in color.”
There’s good reason for his title as influencer. As a student at the prestigious Royal College of Art, Hockney refused to write an essay (which was required to graduate) for the final exam, reasoning he should be assessed solely on his artwork. Recognizing his talent, the institution actually went on to change its regulations and award him his diploma. Now age 79, Hockney has surpassed some Millennials with his early embrace of digital innovation—first drawing, using Adobe Photoshop, with a stylus and touchpad and later moving on to the iPad (on its invention). He defends his digital work (like the one that appears on this cover) as a new medium and, according to a 2014 New York Times article, thinks it’s here to stay. In fact, Hockney wrote an entire book about evidence that even the old masters had help from devices, such as a camera lucida.
Whether the digital canvas is the next big thing or not, one thing is certain—the influence of digital devices is a common theme even in the estate-planning world. And, though digital wills haven’t yet given estate planners a run for their money, now might be a good time to consider some reinvented approaches to planning for the modern client.