David Hockney

August 22, 2011

The British artist David Hockney depicted his infatuation with Southern California by capturing the coolness of its unique landscape and culture. The pool naturally emerged as the subject of many of his paintings as it epitomized Los Angeles’ leisure lifestyle. In his biography, Hockney expressed his fascination with painting water and finding various mediums to portray it. His subsequent mediums thus included watercolor, pen and ink, and Polaroid photo collages. He stated that his method of illustrating water was inspired by Jean Dubuffet’s abstract, textured paintings and Bernard Cohen’s Technicolor spaghetti pictures. In 1964, the Bradford, England-born Hockney moved to Los Angeles and painted his first swimming pool in California Art Collector (1964). The fabricated setting of this painting was a result of many inspirations, except for the pool, which came from a swimming pool advertisement in the Los Angeles Times. In the aptly named 1980 lithograph, Lithograph of Water Made of Thick and Thin Lines and a Light Blue Wash and a Dark Blue Wash, Hockney approaches his usual theme with the initial child-like wonder upon arriving in California by employing simple colors and doodle-like squiggles. This particular Hockney oeuvre continues to inspire viewers to fantasize about the idyllic, easy-going California way of living.

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