The Collector #18

 Brenda Zlamany / David Hockney

Old RinkRank Threatens the Princess, 1969
Recently David Hockney signed this proof of “Old RinkRank Threatens the Princess”  for my daughter, Oona, “with love”, and I added it to our collection on the living room wall. It is one of 39 illustrations that Hockney made in collaboration with Oona’s dad, master printer Maurice Payne, in 1969, for the series “Six Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm”.

In this image, the Princess is threatened by her captor, RinkRank, an old man with a knife and a very long beard. She holds a stoic pose as she pleads with him. Old RinkRank reminds me of a certain contemporary villain (who I pray will not be reelected), and during this period of lockdown, I have often felt trapped and vulnerable like the Princess in this image. But eventually, she escapes by catching the old man’s beard in the window and forcing him to surrender his ladder. A hopeful tale in the end!

This etching is also significant to me because it was printed by Oona’s dad early in his 50-year friendship/collaborative relationship with David Hockney, though it was only recently signed and presented to Oona. In the photo of the print (above), an oil painting of Maurice Payne, by me, can be seen in the reflection.

My collection reminds me of the amazing community that I am part of, and it inspires me as I continue to paint during this period of social isolation. The works are stylistically diverse and I am lucky to be surrounded by the work of  friends and colleagues such as Jonathan Lasker, Christian Eckart, Carl Ostendarp, Leonardo Drew, Ruth Hardinger, Ida Applebroog, William Kentridge, Odd Nerdrum, and David Hockney. But the portraits in my collection have been particularly important. When I walk into a room, the faces that I see on the walls help me to feel a little less lonely.The art that I live with has kept me going during this difficult and uncertain time.
Brenda Zlamany
June 25, 2020

“Old RinkRank Threatens the Princess,” in situ, with various artworks including portraits by David Hockney of myself and of Maurice Payne on the back wall, and my portraits of Oona to the right and to the left of them.

“The Collector” is an ongoing series in which I ask people to talk about a painting or a drawing they own. See other installments here.

To send a letter to the editor

To subscribe, see below or the right hand side of the homepage