Birth Date: July 9, 1937
Birth Place: Bradford, England
Fun Fact: An important contributor to the Pop art movement of the 1960s. Considered one of the most influential British artists of the twentieth century.
Education: In 1948, Hockney won a scholarship to one of the best schools in the country, Bradford Grammar School. He enjoyed his art classes and decided he wanted to be an artist at this time. In 1953, Hockney enrolled in the College of Arts and began painting with oil, his medium of choice for the rest of his life. His artwork was abstract and quite personal and allowed him to deal with human sexuality and love in a public, yet still inhibited manner. He graduated with honors and then enrolled in the Painting School of the Royal College in London two years later, where and when he would gain national attention as an artist.
Social Life: Hockney had many friends throughout his schooling and was very social, but also a serious student. After he traveled to New York and befriended other gay men, Hockney felt comfortable talking about his sexual orientations and even began painting about his sexual orientation, writing words such as “queer” and ‘unorthodox lover” in some of his paintings. Hockney moved to California where he was inspired by the environment. His paintings featured mainly men and typically colorful southern California architecture. It was around this time that Hockney developed the naturalistic, realistic style he is most known for today.
Use of Technology: In the eighties, Hockney turned to photo collage. Using a Polaroid camera, Hockney would assemble collages of photos that he would take as quickly as possible.
In the nineties, Hockney continued to experiment with rising technologies. He used a color laser copier in some of his works and reproduced some of his paintings. Hockney was impressed with the vibrancy of color that could be achieved using such devices.