Home > Blog > Interesting Facts About David Hockney

Interesting Facts About David Hockney

 

1. Hockney swims every day, staying fit by spending half an hour in the pool each morning.

Celia In An Armchair by David Hockney
Celia In An Armchair
by David Hockney

 

2. Hockney’s autobiography, A Bigger Book, weighs 35kg. It measures 200cm in width at full spread and is 500 pages long.

 

Red Celia by David Hockney
Red Celia
by David Hockney

 

3. Hockney has often been voted as ‘the greatest living artist’.

 

Vertical Dogs by David Hockney
Vertical Dogs
by David Hockney

 

4. He believes smoking is good for his mental health and was vehemently opposed the legislation to ban smoking in England. He has smoked for over 60 years but has been teetotal since his heart attack in 1990.

 

Ipad Drawing Untitled, 329 by David Hockney
Ipad Drawing Untitled, 329
by David Hockney

 

5. As a conscientious objector Hockney refused compulsory National Service in the 1950s but instead spent two years as a hospital orderly.

 

Brooke Hopper by David Hockney
Brooke Hopper
by David Hockney

 

6. The first painting he ever sold was a portrait of his father which fetched £10 at the Yorkshire Artists Exhibition in 1957. Hockney said this sum which kept him going ‘for more than a week’.

 

Royal College Of Art – Diploma by David Hockney
Royal College Of Art – Diploma
by David Hockney

 

7. Hockney nearly failed art school. Wishing to be judged solely on the basis of his art, Hockney refused to complete the essay for his final exam at the Royal College of Art. Instead, Hockney spoiled his paper with a satirical sketch of the diploma he was trying to obtain. Recognising his talent, the college changed its regulations and passed him anyway. Copies of the drawing exist in the collections of Tate and the V&A.

 

Picture Of Melrose Avenue In An Ornate Gold Frame by David Hockney
Picture Of Melrose Avenue In An Ornate Gold Frame
by David Hockney

 

8. The punk fashion designer Vivienne Westwood named a jacket after Hockney and in 2005 Christopher Bailey centred the entire Burberry spring/summer menswear collection around the artist’s preppy style.

 

What Is This Picasso? by David Hockney
What Is This Picasso?
by David Hockney

 

9. Hockney has been partially deaf for over 40 years and can only hear with the help of powerful hearing aids, which he has in several different colours.

 

Swimming Pool by David Hockney
Swimming Pool
by David Hockney

 

10. He declined the offer of a Knighthood in 1990, turning down the honour because he ‘does not care for a fuss’. He was subsequently appointed to the Queen’s Order of Merit in 2012.

 

David Hockney Artworks