David Hockney was born on July 9, 1937, in Bradford, England. Hockney was always considered an eccentric in Bradford. He never really cared what people thought of him and always did as he pleased. He spent afternoons at Sunday school drawing cartoons of Jesus, much to his teachers’ dismay. As a young child, Hockney also developed an obsession with opera when he first saw a production of La Boheme.
In 1953, Hockney enrolled in the College of Art and began painting with oils, his medium of choice for most of his life. Hockney learned that painting was a process of seeing and thinking, rather than one of imitation. 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.
In the summer of 1961, Hockney traveled to New York for the first time. To pay for the trip, Hockney sold several of his paintings. He was also able to work on other paintings and sketches while he was there at the Pratt Institute’s facilities. At this time early on in Hockney’s career, his artwork was poetic and tended to tell stories. He even wrote poetic ramblings on many of his paintings as well.
In New York, Hockney befriended Andy Warhol, at whose studio young artists often met and socialized. However, Hockney’s main purpose in returning to the states was not to meet peers, but rather to travel to California. This new environment greatly inspired him. It was around this time that Hockney developed the naturalistic, realistic style he is most known for today.
Hockney’s life and all his loves are always on display to the public. By embracing all sorts of technology and media, Hockney has made his art accessible to people everywhere. He has used art to express the love he has felt for others, and consequently, his works show personal suffering and strife in the making and breaking of his romances, while at the same time, garnering him much respect and admiration. Hockney has truly made art a form of real human interaction and communication.