David Hockney

David Hockney (British, born 1937) studied art from early age including at the Royal College of Art. His rise to art-stardom was swift. Coinciding with his seeing of a highly influential Picasso exhibition, Hockney’s career launches in 1960 with inclusion in some important shows and eventual solo shows. His paintings and lithographic prints sell well and he begins to travel. In New York he meets Warhol and other important American artists. By the mid 60s, Hockney is primarily based in the US, drawing, painting, and teaching. In 1967 he purchases a 35mm camera to aid him in his painting. He begins to become unhappy with the distortions in perspective inherent in using wide angle lenses. However, needed a wider viewpoint, he begins collaging photos together in the early 70s. His work continues to be painting based throughout the 70s with some significant work around book illustrations, Picasso homage, and theatre design. His career is going very well with international exhibitions of his paintings in major galleries. In 1982, it is suggested that an exhibition of his photographs, which had not been at the forefront, be held in Paris. Hockney sets out to investigate Cubism and the photographic representation of three dimensional space in two dimensions. His first wholly photographic show was held in New York and was 150 works shot with Polaroid. Shot the Grand Canyon later that year. A core tenet of Cubism is the rejection of the classical three point perspective viewpoint in favour of multiple viewpoints. His collages are often constructed as a grid of uniform photos. As he continued working in photo collage or photo construction, the images fragmented further with each image being cut to show only the parts he chose. In 1985 he is introduced to pre-photoshop computer graphics programs and in 1986 he begins to include the photocopier in his work. Stays constantly current with technology, sending images over the internet in the late 1980s and beginning to employ a digital camera and laser printers in 1990. Hockney’s art returned to being predominantly painting and drawing based but the camera would continue to be important. The impact of his Cubist/collage style in the 1980s is very important in the realm of photography.

Hockney website

Class photo inspired by Hockney