David Hockney is a British painter known for his representations of life in Los Angeles, a fascination that first began in childhood and continued when he visited the West Coast of the US in 1964.
Hockney captured the hedonistic spirit and culture of the city, the leisure pursuits, and the weather in his vibrant Pop Art paintings. “I prefer living in color”, the artist has said about his decision to settle in the city. His relocation also spurred a move from oil to acrylic paint, which gave his work smooth, vibrant hues, as in his Swimming Pools series.
Hockney credits Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse for influencing his distinctive painting style, which is extremely recognizable. Experimenting with photography in the mid-1970's, Hockney went on to create his famous photocollages with Polaroids and snapshot prints arranged in a grid formation, pushing the two-dimensionality of photography to the limit, fragmenting the monocular vision of the camera and activating the viewer in the process.
A versatile artist, Hockney has produced work in almost every medium—including full-scale opera set designs, prints, and drawings using cutting-edge technology such as fax machines, laser photocopiers, computers, and even iPhones and iPads.
He experimented with numerous styles and became one of the most important portraitists of his era, renowned for depictions of family and people he met in his extensive travels. His work demonstrates a wish to uphold the human figure as a fit subject of painting, as well as an interest in imagery drawn from the urban environment.