David Hockney Rescued from Elevator by Team of Dutch Firefighters

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 all the greater by their heavy production equipment–caused the lift to stop working temporarily.

Daily Mail editor Geordie Greig quickly called 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 afterward. That picture, ARTnews can confidently report, is already iconic.

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

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