David Hockney

Still Life Blue Guitar, 4th April 1982
Jerry Diving Sunday Feb 28th 1982
Nicholas Wilder Studying Picasso, Los Angeles 24th March 1982
Blue Terrace Los Angeles March 8th 1982

David Hockney (born July 9, 1937 in Bradford, Yorkshire, United Kingdom) is a painter, graphic artist, set designer and photographer. He is considered one of the most influential British artists of the 20th century.
When David Hockney received a scholarship to Bradford Grammar School at the age of eleven, he had already decided he wanted to become an artist. From 1953 to 1957, he attended the Bradford College of Art. After signing up as a conscientious objector rather than completing military service, he spent two years working in hospitals.
In 1959, Hockney began studying at the Royal College of Art in London. During this time he was influenced by abstract expressionism and his fellow student and later Pop Art icon R. B. Kitaj. By this time, he had already gained considerable recognition.
David Hockney’s figurative art is strongly influenced by his life’s journey. Themes and motifs include his homosexuality, family, friends and dogs, although his work is also directly influenced by his ever-changing environment. From tropical life in Los Angeles, where he moved in 1963, and the English countryside of Yorkshire, to the lush landscapes of Normandy, where Hockney lives today.
Hockney’s best-known cycle of work, the so-called Swimming Pool series, emerged in the 1960s and has so far spanned over seven decades.
Throughout his long career, David Hockney has also explored the relationship between photography and painting. He regularly interrupted his painting and printmaking work to focus on camera-based compositions. These include his assemblages of Polaroid SX-70 photographs, which were a reaction to what he saw as the static quality of a single photograph. He said he could barely look at a single photograph for more than 30 seconds. “You grasp it very quickly, and when you look at it again, it’s exactly the same. These Polaroid portraits are different; there are so many relationships that are created by juxtaposing the individual photographs, and the permutations of those relationships seem so numerous that you can keep looking at them and seeing them in many different ways.”[1]
Hockney’s experience creating the SX-70 portraits in 1982 made him think differently about photography and experiment with cameras. His assemblages would be difficult to make without a Polaroid camera, he noted, “because you have to be able to see the result of your work quickly in order to continue with the image.”[2] In contrast to his later snapshot collages, each of Hockney’s SX-70 assemblages is unique; they were never produced in multiple editions.

[1] David Hockney in: Photographs, p. 26

[2] Ibid., p. 27

Polaroid related books

David Hockney. Photographs
Pompidou, Paris 1982
ISBN: 978-0902825154

David Hockney. Cameraworks
Alfred A. Knopf, New York 1984
ISBN-10: 0394537335
ISBN-13: 9780394537337

David Hockney. New Work with a Camera
Nishimura Gallery, Tokyo 1983

David Hockney on Photography
by David Hockney
André Emmerich Gallery, New York 1983

by David Hockney
International Exhibitions Foundation, Washington, D.C., 1986

Hockney on Photography
Conversations with Paul Joyce
Jonathan Capa Ltd., London 1988
ISBN: 0224024841