1937-07-09

DAVID HOCKNEY, English artist, born; An important contributor to the British Pop-art movement of the 1960s, Hockney is considered one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. He settled in California during the 80’s. While still a student at the Royal College of Art, Hockney was featured in the exhibition Young Contemporaries — alongside Peter Blake — that announced the arrival of British Pop Art. He became associated with the movement, but his early works also display expressionist elements, not dissimilar to certain works by Francis Bacon.

Sometimes, as in We Two Boys Together Clinging (1961), named after a poem by Walt Whitman, these works make reference to his sexuality. In 1963 Hockney visited New York, making contact with Andy Warhol. Later, a visit to California, where he settled, inspired Hockney to make a series of oil paintings of swimming pools in L.A. These are executed in a more realistic style and use vibrant colors.

He also made prints, portraits of friends, and stage designs for the Royal Court Theater, Glyndebourne, La Scala and the Metropolitan Opera in NYC. Early in his career, Hockney exhibited a distinct crush on rock star Cliff Richards.

Richard was referenced directly and indirectly in Hockney’s work. Often Hockney referred to him as ‘Doll Boy’ after Richard’s 1958 hit single Living Doll and many early works have the letters “CR” or “DB” or the numerical representation “42” where 4 represents the D and 2 stands for the B. For more of Hockney check out his web site.