David Hockney was born in 1937, in Bradford, England. He attended an art school in London before he moved to Los Angeles in the 1960s. While in Los Angeles, he created his famous paintings of the swimming pools in the area. Beginning in the 1970s, Hockey began to expand his skills by working in other forms of art, including photography, creating the photo collages that he referred to as joiners. To this day, he continues to both create and display his art, and he was also voted the most influential British artist of the 20th century.
From an early age, David Hockney loved books and enjoyed reading and art. Some of his favorite artists included Matisse, Picasso, and Fragonard. Fortunately, Hockney’s parents encouraged and nourished his creativity, encouraging their son’s artistic flair through daydreams and doodles.
From there, David Hockney continued on to the Bradford College of Art, between the years of 1953 and 1957. After his time in school, he spent two years working in hospitals, in order to fulfill his national service requirement. Afterward, he moved on to graduate school at the Royal College of Art in London. Here, he learned and studied alongside other notable artists such as Allen Jones and Peter Blake, and together they studied and experimented with different art forms, including abstract expressionism. He thrived in school, earning good grades and even selling some of his pieces to personal collectors.
In addition to his paintings of swimming pools, Hockney also painted the interiors and exteriors of various homes in California. These paintings are what led to his “joiners,” or Polaroid photos laid out in a grid in collage fashion.
Hockey returned to his true love of painting in the late 1980s, choosing to focus on seascapes, portraits of loved ones, and flowers. At this point, he also began incorporating technology into his art. This is where his fascination between the marriage of technology and art began, and he has always been a pioneer in combining the two. In fact, he began using the Brushes app on the iPhone and iPad to create paintings in 2009. These works were showcased in 2011 at the Royal Museum of Ontario.
Some of the most well known David Hockney artwork includes paintings, drawings, graphics, photos, stage design, and even more. Some of his most famous pieces include the following:
- Nude, 1957
- Bowl of Fruit, 1951
- Man Wearing Stripped Jacket and Yellow Tie, 1955
- Builders, 1957
- Roadmenders, 1957
- Self Portrait, 1955
- Abstraction, 1955
- Invented Man Revealing Still Life, 1975
- Self Portrait with Blue Guitar, 1977
- Santa Monica Boulevard, 1979
- The Railing, 1990
- Three Sunflowers and a Bottle of Water, 1996
- Dog Painting 17, 1995
- The Gate, 2000
- The Photographer and His Daughter, 2005
- May Blossom on the Roman Road, 2009
- Felled Totem I, 2009
- Woldgate Woods III, 2006
- Andalucia, Mosques, Cordova, 2004
For an interesting visual representation of the chronology of David Hockney’s life, be sure not to miss the chronology timeline in his personal website. You can find timeline and learn more here. The timeline outlines the major moments and achievements in the life of David Hockney, and is divided up into smaller segments to make viewing easier, 1937 – 1974, 1975 – 1990, 1991 – 2005, and 2006 to present.
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