FRANKFURT David Hockney presented the largest book ever devoted to his art on Tuesday, a limited-edition volume costing $2,500 that spans more than 60 years of work by one of the most influential British artists of the 20th century.
"David Hockney: A Bigger Book" - a collaboration with publisher Taschen - weighs 35 kg (77 pounds), measures 50 by 70 cm (20 by 28 inches) when closed and comes with its own custom-made stand.
Such books, valued as physical objects in their own right, not just for their content - have bucked a years-long trend of decline in print books.
Hockney, 79, at the opening news conference of the Frankfurt Book Fair, spoke however of his new-found passion for drawing on the Apple iPad, and before that the iPhone.
"I've always liked to draw. The computer doesn't stop you drawing...I've noticed," he said, showing speeded-up video of his process of drawing flowers, friends and the Eiffel Tower. "Who would have thought the telephone would bring back drawing?"
Book fairs continue to be a driving force in the $105 billion global publishing market, which is stabilizing after years in which ebooks - with their lower production and distribution costs - ate into the profits of the traditional book trade.
This year, more than 7,100 exhibitors from more than 100 countries are expected at the Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's biggest.
Born in Bradford, England in 1937, Hockney studied at the Royal College of Art from 1957-62. He cemented his reputation with the "Young Contemporaries" exhibition in London in 1960, before moving to Los Angeles in 1974.
(Additional reporting by Harro Ten Wolde, Editing by Angus MacSwan)