Childhood & Early Life
David was the fourth child born to Kenneth and Laura Hockney in Bradford, England on July 9th, 1937. His father was known as a conscientious Objector during the Second World War.
The young lad pursued his elementary education at institutions like ‘Wellington Primary School’ and ‘Bradford Grammar School’. He then moved to the ‘Bradford College of Art’ in 1953 to study further. The budding artist was introduced to painting with oils at this institution.
After completing his course at the ‘Bradford College of Art’, Hockney moved to the ‘Royal College of Art’ located in London in 1959 to pursue his further education. It was during his time at Royal College that David met the renowned American artist R.B Kitaj, who influenced him greatly.
The young artist even exhibited his work at this prestigious institution, along with the creations of other artists like Peter Blake. This display of creative work, called ‘Young Contemporaries’, introduced admirers of art to a new style of painting called British pop art.
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David first shot to fame through the work titled ‘We Two Boys Together Clinging’, which was created in 1961. Many interpreted the painting to have a strong inclination towards homosexuality.
In 1962, the artist created a wonderful piece of art named ‘The Diploma’. Hockney expressed his fury against the administration of the ‘Royal College of Art’ through this work, since they denied him the opportunity to graduate from the institution at the time.
He then relocated to Los Angeles in 1963, owing to his love for America and an undying obsession towards Hollywood. The same year, he created ‘Domestic Scene, Los Angeles’, yet another painting which depicted homosexuality.
Hockney started teaching at the ‘University of Iowa’ in 1964, after being invited by the institution to impart lessons in art. Although the artist found the work mundane, his time at the University allowed him to create four paintings in a span of just a few weeks.
The artist’s love for Los Angeles made him relocate to the city during the year 1966. The swimming pools in the city caught his fancy, and inspired the artist to create pieces of art like ‘A Bigger Splash’ and ‘Portrait of an Artist’.
David rose to the rank of an iconic artist during the 1970’s through his work. The first half of the decade saw the release of a few of his works like ‘Three Chairs with a Section of a Picasso Mural’, ‘La Chaise’, ‘Celia in a Wicker Chair’ and ‘Hollywood Tree’.
During the period 1975-80, Hockney created masterpieces such as ‘Celia Observing’, ‘The Buzzing of the blue guitar’ and ‘Portrait of Henry Geldzahler’.
During the 1980’s, this artist moved from paintings to creating collages using photos. This new experiment of art was termed ‘Joiners’. Davis juxtaposed photographs and Polaroid prints together to create outstanding pieces of art.
Some of his well-known works during this period were ‘Pearblossom Highway #2’ and ‘Kasmin, 1982’. The artist also produced more than a dozen paintings during this period, which were well acclaimed by art lovers and critics.
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In 1985, this artist was appointed by the world-renowned fashion magazine ‘Vogue’ to design the cover page of their French version. Many art lovers felt that this work was inspired by the artist’s admiration for the legendary painter Pablo Picasso.
In the same year, he was among the first few people to popularize the use of a software called ‘Quantel Paintbox’ for painting.
During the period 1985-90, the artist produced other pieces of art like ‘Malibu House’, ‘Green and Blue Paint’, ‘Red and Black Fruit’, ‘Henry’ and ‘Used Chair’.
Hockney created a few portraits in the 1990’s, which included that of ‘Jonathan Silver’, ‘Gregory Evans’, ‘Ken Wathey’ and ‘Mum’. Apart from these, his paintings like ‘The Other Side’, ‘Dog Painting’ and ‘Three Sunflowers and a Water Bottle’, which were released during this period, also earned a lot of acclaim.
Hockney started frequently visiting Yorkshire and in the early 2005, he started creating paintings inspired by the environment in the city.
Awards and Achievements
David was felicitated with the first annual award of achievement by the 'Archives of American Art', in 1993.
He was awarded an honorary membership to the 'American Academy of Arts & Sciences', in the year 1997.
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An exhibition of Hockney’s paintings was organized at The ‘National portrait Gallery’, London in 2006, as a mark of tribute to the artist’s contribution to the field of fine art.
The ‘Royal Academy’ of London organized a 3-month exhibition named ‘A Bigger Picture’, which included many paintings of this famous artist.
‘de Young Museum’ located in San Francisco organized an exhibition called ‘David Hockney: A Bigger Exhibition’, in honor of the artist. Dozens of paintings of the artist were exhibited to the joy of art lovers.
Personal Life & Legacy
Hockney’s mother passed away in the year 1999, the artist had even dedicated a painting to his mom, whom he loved dearly.
The talented artist has publicly admitted that he is gay and many of his works reflect his homosexual personality.
Christopher Simon Sykes, who is a writer and photographer, has penned a book on the famous painter, titled 'David Hockney: A rake's Progress', published in the year 2012. The same year, saw the release of an indie-pop album called 'Mia Pharaoh' which featured a song named after this great artist, titled 'Afternoons with David Hockney'.
The artist has penned more than a dozen books, the popular ones among these include '72 Drawings', 'Hockney's Pictures', 'David Hockney: Poster Art' and 'Travels With Pen, Pencil and Ink'.