Drawing on exclusive and unprecedented access to David Hockney's
extensive archives, notebooks, and paintings, interviews with
family, friends, and on Hockney himself, Christopher Simon Sykes
provides a colorful and intimate portrait of one of the most
influential artists of the twentieth century.
Born in 1937, David Hockney grew up in a northern English town
during the days of postwar austerity. By the time he was ten years
old he knew he wanted to be an artist, and after leaving school he
went on to study at Bradford Art College and later at the Royal
College of Art in London. Bursting onto the scene at the Young
Contemporaries exhibition, Hockney was quickly heralded as the
golden boy of postwar British art and a leading proponent of pop
art. It was during the swinging 60s in London that he befriended
many of the seminal cultural figures of the generation and
throughout these years Hockney's career grew. Always absorbed in
his work, he drew, painted and etched for long hours each day, but
it was a scholarship that led him to California, where he painted
his iconic series of swimming pools. Since then, the most
prestigious galleries across the world have devoted countless shows
to his extraordinary work.
In the seventies he expanded his range of projects, including set
and costume design for operas and experiments with photography,
lithography, and even photocopying. Most recently he has been at
the forefront the art world's digital revolution, producing
incredible sketches on his iPhone and iPad, and it is this
progressive thinking which has highlighted his genius, vigor and
versatility as an artist approaching his 75th birthday.
In this, the first volume of Hockney's biography, detailing his
life and work from 1937 - 1975, Sykes explores the fascinating
world of the beloved and controversial artist whose career has
spanned and epitomized the art movements of the last five
"The timing couldn't be better for this enjoyable and well-sourced
book, which -- like Hockney's own work -- is both conversational
and perceptive." --"Los Angeles Times
"To read Christopher Simon Sykes' "David Hockney" is to marvel at
the artistic gifts of the eccentric Yorkshireman who rose from a
sometimes pinched childhood to hobnob with poet Stephen Spender and
novelist Christopher Isherwood, to party with Mick Jagger and
Manolo Blahnik." --"The Plain Dealer"
"Prodigiously entertaining." --"Financial Times"
"A chatty, knowledgeable, insider's biography, full of anecdotes."
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