David Hockney Rescued from Elevator by Team of Dutch Firefighters -ARTnews

Hockney poses with his rescuers.


Yesterday in Amsterdam, the legendary 81-year-old artist David Hockney got stuck in an elevator.

The Guardian reported on Thursday that the artist was in town for the opening of “Hockney – Van Gogh: The Joy of Nature,” a show at the Van Gogh Museum that takes a look at the connections between Hockney and the institution’s namesake painter. Before an appearance on the BBC Radio 4 program Today, Hockney piled into an elevator at the Conservatorium Hotel with a gang of journalists whose combined weight–made more severe by the presence of heavy production equipment–caused the lift to stop working temporarily.

Daily Mail editor Geordie Greig quickly made a call to hotel staff and was able to get water and a folding chair into the elevator. The group reportedly passed time by telling jokes. 

All said, they were trapped for around 30 minutes before being rescued by a group of strapping Dutch firefighters, who posed for a photo with Hockney once they left the elevator. That picture, ARTnews can confidently report, is already iconic.

The Guardian said that the artist was “desperate” for a cigarette–which was the reason he was taking the elevator in the first place. He also requested a cup of tea.

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