|Dates: ||1937, 9 July - |
|Born: ||Great Britain, Bradford|
English painter, printmaker, stage designer and photographer.
Hockney was born in Bradford, and studied at the Royal College of Art. In London, he saw American Abstract Expressionist paintings and became friendly with RB Kitaj, and other founders of British Pop Art. From the outset, Hockney was fascinated by the interplay between flat surfaces and spatial illusion, and his work is often jokey, with numerous references to popular culture and a recurrent autobiographical flavour. In 1964 he visited Los Angeles, where he later settled, and began to take polaroid photographs. Their aesthetic had a profound influence on the flat, atmospheric acrylic paintings of friends and acquaintances, often featuring Californian swimming pools, with which he rapidly established an international reputation. Hockney is a highly accomplished draughtsman and etcher, and from the 1970s emerged as a distinguished stage designer. From the 1980s, he has become increasingly fascinated by colour photography, producing photographic collages and large murals comprising prints created on a photocopier or with a laser jet printer. Britain’s most consistently popular figurative artist, Hockney dislikes the label ‘Pop’. He is also a highly influential commentator on his own art, and that of the past.
This biography is courtesy and copyright of the Victoria & Albert Museum and is included here with permission.
Date last updated: 11 Nov 2011.
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Biography provided by Focal Press
Hockney stated "photography is all right if you don’t mind looking at the world from the point of view of a paralyzed Cyclops — for a split second." To overcome his dissatisfaction with photography’s single-point perspective, he made numerous photographs of a scene from various vantage points and arranged the resulting prints into a cubist-like collage. His canvas-sized color visions bring together an expanded collection of components observed over time and fabricated into a grand, extended, constantly changing entirety. By interrupting space and displacing time, Hockney breaks the perspective of the Renaissance window, carrying his synthetic multifaceted
representations of a subject beyond the edges of the frame, dissolving the photograph’s traditional rectangle.
(Author: Robert Hirsch - Independent scholar and writer)
Michael Peres (Editor-in-Chief), 2007, Focal Encyclopedia of Photography, 4th edition, (Focal Press) [ISBN-10: 0240807405, ISBN-13: 978-0240807409]
(Used with permission)
Readings on, or by, individual photographers
Weschler, L., 1984, Cameraworks: David Hockney, (New York: Alfred A. Knopf) [Δ]
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The following books are useful starting points to obtain brief biographies but they are not substitutes for the monographs on individual photographers.
|"I‘ve finally figured out what‘s wrong with photography. It‘s a one—eyed man looking through a little ‘ole. Now, how much reality can there be in that?"|
|"When is the present? When did the past end and the present occur, and when does the future start? Ordinary photography has one way of seeing only, which is fixed, as if there is kind of an objective reality, which simply cannot be. Picasso…knew that every time you look there‘s something different. There is so much there but we‘re not seeing it, that‘s the problem."|