Why David Hockney Makes Both Paintings and Photographs

by: Ellen C. Caldwell
for JSTOR Daily

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is currently featuring a large retrospective of David Hockney’s painted portraits. Hockney is known for his paintings and photo collages that capture bright Southern California light as it bounces off turquoise pools and LA architecture. While photo collages and paintings are wildly different mediums, Hockney’s knowledge of both mediums has made all of his work richer.

In 1989, film critic Dave Thomson wrote, “Hockney paintings are flies on L.A.’s best walls.” In the 1972 painting, “Portrait of an Artist (pool with two figures),” for instance, Hockney depicts a pool with one figure swimming, fully submerged underwater. He swims toward a figure who stands clothed in khakis and a bright coral blazer, outside of the pool and looking downward to the swimmer…

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