David Hockney has always denied being a pop artist but is included under this heading because this is how the public perceives him. He was born in Bradford in 1937. By the time he won a scholarship to Bradford Grammar School at the age of eleven he had already decided that he wanted to be an artist. He drew for the school magazine and produced posters for the school debating society as a substitute for homework. At sixteen he managed to persuade his parents to let him go to a local art school and that was followed by two years of working in hospitals as an alternative to National Service, as he had registered as a conscientious objector. After this he went to the Royal College Of Art in London to continue his studies, arriving there in 1959.
Hockney duly tried his hand at abstraction, but found it too barren. He was at this moment in a phrase of rapid self-discovery searching for a style. Sine figure painting seemed anti-modern' Hockney began by including words in his painting as a way of humanizing them, but these were soon joined by figures painted in a deliberately rough and rudimentary style. Hockney's ebullient 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. Hockney was also experimenting both with large composite photographs and with works made of paper pulp impregnated with colour. 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. Hockney is currently living in a small house he has purchased in Malibu.
David Hockney's works are just...