Wednesday, November 22, 2006

David Hockney - Artist

1960's Photograph

Lucien Freud 1990's Painting

I became aware of David Hockney when I was first at university, through images like those offered up in his Los Angeles period paintings. It's their still, airless, somewhat photo-realist perfection and 'orderedness'. The bleaching quality of the sunlight reminds me of the Australia:

'A Bigger Splash', 1967

'Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy', 1969

'Still Life on a Glass Table', 1971-2

'La Terrace', 1971

I bought two books ('David Hockney by David Hockney' and 'David Hockney Photographs') and, looking back over them now, I am surprised just how many of the works from that period had gay themes - lots of naked guys, nudity often accentuated by tan lines (another Los Angeles-Sydney connection):

'Man Taking Shower in Beverley Hills', 1964

I particularly liked the works involving his then boyfriend, Peter Slessenger, cos they publically presented the intimacy of gay lovers:

'Peter and I lived together. Peter's the only person I've lived with; we were lovers. I've lived with other people, but not really as lovers. And of course it makes a difference.'

Some of the paintings of Peter:

And some etchings:

And some photographs:

All these images were really important for me at the time, re-affirming the possibilities of a public gay life.

And, to finish out of the ball park, a fabulous portrait of the British poet W H Auden, 1968:


  1. Hockney is one of my favorites artist, i love the series of "boys" in color pencils....

  2. Love the "boys" series in colored pencils, he's one of my favorite artist, and "...two boys clinging..."