Born in Bradford England on the 9th July 1937 David Hockney was interested in art from a very early age, and was an admirer of Fragonard, Picasso and Matisse. The fifth of six children his parents encouraged his artistic experimentation. He went to the Bradford College of Art 1953-57. To fulfil his national service, he worked in hospitals as he was a conscientious objector to war. Then in 1959 he was accepted into the Royal College of Art, Graduate school in London.
While there he experimented with different art forms, his work was exhibited alongside that of Peter Blake a fellow student, and announced the arrival of Pop Art. His paintings were purchased for collections and won prizes but The RCA still would not let him graduate because he refused to write an essay, saying that he should be assessed by his work alone. He drew The Diploma as his work. The RCA reviewed their rules and awarded his diploma.
In 1961 he painted We Two Boys Clinging together which together with the quotations from Walt Whitman he had been incorporating in some of his work, were the first public indication of his homosexuality. He continued to express this in his work while it was still outlawed in the UK. His painting Domestic Scene Los Angeles showed one man showering with another washing his back.
In 1963 he visited Los Angeles and he created his famous Swimming Pool works. They were painted with the new acrylics using vibrant colours and they were large works. His expressionistic style over the years until in the 70’s his work was thought more to be in the realist genre.
Also in the 70’s he started working with photography and created the joiners. Polaroid photographs assembled to form a grid. Although this would later be one of his most famous periods, it was something he stumbled across while creating a painting of someone’s house. He had taken photos for reference and fixed them together to create the image he was to paint. Recognising it as yet another art form he created more.
In the mid 70’s he had moved onto projects creating set and costume design foe theatre and opera. He had taken an interest in lithography and photography still interested him, but by the late 80’s he returned to painting. This time portraits of his loved ones, seascapes, and flowers.
Technology also interested him and in 1986 he started creating his first home made prints on a photocopier. The use of technology continued to fascinate him and in the 90’s he was using laser fax and laser printers in his works. In 2009 he started creating his paintings using an Iphone and ipads app called Brushes.
In 2011 a hundred of these paintings were exhibited at the Royal Museum of Ontario. Also in this year he was voted the most influential artist of all Time from a poll of 1000 artists.
He still continues to paint now and exhibit his works. He also strongly advocates for funding for the arts.