Two suns will appear in five cities during the month of May — the real sun in the sky, of course, but also the chrysanthemum-like depiction of it in a video by the British artist David Hockney. The 2½-minute animation will be broadcast on digital billboards in Times Square in New York and prominent locations in London, Los Angeles, Tokyo and Seoul.
Hockney’s dawning of a new day in a color-saturated landscape springs from his experience in early mornings looking out the kitchen window of his house in Normandy, France, where he has lived since 2019, carefully observing and creating art from his surroundings.
The announcement of the new digital work, “Remember you cannot look at the sun or death for very long,” suggests that the animation can be interpreted as a message of hope about emerging from winter — or from pandemic lockdowns.
The rollout of Hockney’s sunrise, which he created on an iPad, is being orchestrated by CIRCA, a digital platform that the British artist Josef O’Connor conceived of prepandemic, and Times Square Arts, the public art arm of the Times Square Alliance. Since October, CIRCA has been broadcasting artworks on Piccadilly Lights, a curved billboard in London’s Piccadilly Square.