David Hockney was born in 1937 in Bradford UK, a multi-talented artist who is unclassifiable and regularly changing style, even technique. “I am an artist who does not fall into any category; the art world never knows where to put me.”
Hockney, a student of the College of Art in Bradford and the Royal College of London, was an exceptional artist inspired not only by geniuses such as Picasso and Matisse but also by his contemporaries like Francis Bacon and Morandi. In 1962 he received his first class diploma, and in 1964 he went to Los Angeles and this became a turning point in his life, which brought about the change in his style.
He began to paint his most famous works, Portrait of Nick Wilder, A Bigger Splash and Beverly Hills Housewife, which sold for $ 8 million in 2009. His representations of villas and their turquoise blue pools is an illustration of the Californian artificial universe, representing a flat, frozen world in which the sensation of comfort paradoxically provokes a feeling of anxiety.
By the time the 1970’s came about, he met his (first) lover and model, Peter Schlesinger, but this affair made the artist depressed and dependent on Valium.
From 1982, he made many extraordinary photocollages from Polaroids that froze the moment while decomposing it, in the cubist way.
Hockney changed his style again in 1998 when he painted a 40 meter wide view of the Grand Canyon, consisting of 96 paintings. This carried on until 2011, in which he then went on to paint large landscapes composed of several paintings, especially in the woods of Woldgate, near his home, a series that culminated a large exhibition, “A Bigger Picture” which opened on January 23, 2012 at the Royal Academy in London.
Eventhough he had been experimenting with computer drawing since 1985, it was in the millennium that David Hockney began to really use the opportunities offered by digital: photocopy prints, before making small works directly on the screen on his iPad. Hockney came into his element where he could comfortably work.
“I like to draw flowers by hand on my iPhone and send them to my friends so they receive fresh flowers. And my flowers last! They never die…” David Hockney.
For the artist this new tool of the iPad was like his sketchbook, even adding that ” it will change our way of seeing things. ” But in October 2012, Hockney, who returned to the UK for several years and settled in Bridlington (Yorkshire), suffered a stroke. Five months later, one of his 23 year old assistants died of an overdose.
Hockney, returned to his Hollywood Hills home. There, little by little, he began to paint again, returning to his first love, the portrait, therapy by work, so to speak.
Looking back at the 1960s in Los Angeles, he wrote, “I thought I was hedonistic at the time, but still, I worked. I have always worked. Everyday. An artist can approve hedonism, but he can not be a hedonist himself.”
Even to this day he still visits Bradford, where a wing of the Bradford museum and Galleries has a dedicated wing to him “The David Hockney Gallery”