David Hockney

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David Hockney was born in Bradford in 1937. At an early age, he already knew what he wanted to do. He had won a scholarship to the Bradford Grammar School at the age of 11 and had already decided what he was going to do when he was older – become an artist. While in school, he drew for the school magazine and made posters for the schools debating society. At the age of 16 Hockney was able to persuade his parents to let him go to a local art school. After his enrollment, however, Hockney was forced to take up a job in a hospital instead of joining the National Service. He had registered as a conscientious objector to the service and war. After this he went to the Royal College Of Art in London to continue his studies, arriving there in 1959.

At first, Hockney attempted to take up abstract art, but found it to be “too barren”. At this realization, Hockney had to figure out what he wanted to do, and what could keep his artwork original from everyone else. Hockney viewed figure painting as “anti-modern” so he began to include words in his paintings as a means of “humanizing” his work. Eventually, the words were soon joined by figures which were painted in a “deliberately rough and rudimentary style”. Hockneys very strong personality soon made him well known, even outside the Royal College, and he made his first major impact as a painter with the Young Contemporaries Exhibition of January 1961.

This show marked the public emergence of a new Pop movement in Britain, with Hockey (apparently) as one of its leaders. At this time Hockney even began to experiment with large composite photographs and with works made out of paper pulp impregnated with color. From 1982 Hockney explored the use of the camera, making composite images of Polaroid photographs arranged in a rectangular grid. Later he used regular 35-millimetre prints to crate photo collages, compiling a complete picture from a series of individually photographed details.

Throughout his time, Hockney has...
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