A spokesman for Rolex identified the apprentice Monday as Matthias Weischer, 31, and said he would receive an award of $25,000 and additional funds to cover the cost of traveling to visit the 66-year-old Hockney, who works in England and California. Weischer is one of several apprentices named by the Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative program launched last year.
According to the watch firm, the program also is matching Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa, British theater director Sir Peter Hall, and American soprano Jessye Norman, among others, with young practitioners in their fields of art.
It quoted Hockney as saying he was reluctant to take part in the program but was eventually "talked into it." He will send 30 days over the course of a year with Weischer.
"I've never done any teaching," Hockney was quoted. "But I realized I didn't see the work of enough young painters, people out there interested in pictorial space as I am. Finding a young artist interested in the same aspect of painting as me is very exciting. I will learn a lot."
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