DAVID HOCKNEY (b. 1937)
David Hockney is an English painter, draughtsman, printmaker, stage designer and photographer. 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. In 1963
Hockney visited New York, making contact with Andy Warhol. A subsequent visit to California, where he lived for many years, 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. He made prints, portraits of friends, and stage designs for the Royal Court Theatre, Glyndebourne, La Scala and the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. He was awarded The Royal Photographic Society’s Special 150th Anniversary Medal and Honorary Fellowship (HonFRPS) in recognition of a sustained, significant contribution to the art of photography in 2003.
David Hockney early on worked with photography, or, more precisely, photocollage. Using varying numbers of 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. Hockney created these photomontage works mostly between 1970 and 1986. He referred to them as "joiners". 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. In later works Hockney changed his technique and moved the camera around the subject instead. He was made a Companion of Honour in 1997 and is also a Royal Academician. Hockney was offered a knighthood in 1990 but he declined the offer before accepting an Order of Merit in January 2012. He was awarded The Royal Photographic Society’s Progress medal in 1988 and Centenary medal in 2003.