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David Hockney, 1937 | Pop Art painter

David Hockney is a British painter, printmaker, stage designer and photographer. As an important contributor to the Pop Art movement of the 1960s, he is considered one of the most influential British artists of the twentieth century.
He began this style of art by taking Polaroid photographs of one subject and arranging them into a grid layout. The subject would actually move while being photographed so that the piece would show the movements of the subject seen from the photographer’s perspective.

Lucian Freud and David Hockney in the studio

In later works, Hockney changed his technique and moved the camera around the subject instead. He also made prints, portraits of friends, and stage designs for the Royal Court Theatre and the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.
Even though his painting and photographic works does not show synesthesia, he still uses it as a base principle in the stage construction for ballets and operas. Using it as an advantage, David Hockney bases the background colors and lighting upon his own seen colors while listening to the music of the theater piece he is working on.

On July 9th of the year 1937, Hockney was born with synesthesia, a condition where he sees synesthetic colors to musical stimuli, in Bradford. While attending the Royal College of Art in London, he was featured in the exhibition, Young Contemporaries, that announced the beginning of British Pop Art.
David soon became more associated in the movement, and in 1963 Hockney visited New York, making contact with Andy Warhol. A later visit to California inspired Hockney to make a series of paintings of swimming pools in Los Angeles, using the comparatively new Acrylic medium and rendered in a highly realistic style using vibrant colours.
In 1967, his painting, Peter Getting Out Of Nick’s Pool, won the John Moores Painting Priz🎨 at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool.
David Hockney is known for his work with photo collage; using varying numbers of small Polaroid snaps or photolab-prints of a single subject, Hockney arranged a patchwork to make a composite image. Because these photographs are taken from different perspectives and at slightly different times, the result is work that has an affinity with Cubism, which was one of Hockney’s major aims, discussing the way human vision works.
On 15 November 2018, Hockney's 1972 work Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) sold at Christie's auction house in New York City for $90 million (£70 million), becoming the most expensive work by a living artist sold at auction.
This broke the previous record, set by the 2013 sale of Jeff Koons' Balloon Dog (Orange) for $58.4 million.
Hockney held this record until 15 May 2019, Jeff Koons reclaimed the honour when his Rabbit sold for more than $91 million at Christie's in New York.

David Hockney (Bradford, 9 luglio 1937) è un pittore, disegnatore, incisore, fotografo e scenografo Britannico.
Tra i più noti ed affermati artisti contemporanei, Hockney diviene uno dei principali esponenti della Pop art anglosassone dall'inizio degli anni sessanta. Viaggia spesso per gli Stati Uniti, si trasferisce poi stabilmente in California.
Fa dell'elemento figurativo il cardine della propria produzione artistica, che non si limita alla pittura. È infatti incisore, disegnatore e ritrattista, nonché fotografo ed autore di alcuni collage fotografici realizzati con le Polaroid.
Hockney è anche scenografo. Lavora all'Ubu re di Alfred Jarry, allestito al Royal Court Theatre di Londra nel 1963.

Negli anni settanta realizza le scenografie de La carriera di un libertino per il Glyndebourne Festival Opera del 1974, e de Il flauto magico al Metropolitan Opera di New York nel 1978.
Nel 1994 disegna i costumi della Turandot messa in scena alla San Francisco Opera.
Il 16 novembre 2018 il suo dipinto "Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)" è battuto all'asta da Christie's per la cifra record di 90,3 milioni di dollari, divenendo l'opera d'arte più costosa realizzata da un artista vivente, fino al 16 maggio 2019 quando la scultura Rabbit di Jeff Koons viene venduta a 91,1 milioni.
Hockney è apertamente gay, e nella sua ritrattistica ha più volte esplorato la natura dell’amore omosessuale. Ad esempio il dipinto “We Two Boys Together Clinging” (1961), che prende il nome da una poesia di Walt Whitman, ha come oggetto l’amore per gli uomini.
Nel 1963, nel quadro “Domestic Scene, Los Angeles” ritrasse insieme due uomini mentre uno lava la schiena dell’altro.
Nell’estate del 1966, mentre insegnava all’UCLA, incontró Peter Schlesinger, uno studente d’arte che posava per ritratti e disegni, e intrattenne con lui una relazione amorosa.

  • Membro dell'Ordine dei Compagni d'Onore - 14 giugno 1997
  • Membro dell'Ordine al Merito del Regno Unito - 1º gennaio 2012