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Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, Mayfair, London W1J 0BD, Regno Unito
David Hockney, OM, CH, RA (born 9 July 1937) is an English painter, draftsman, printmaker, stage designer and photographer. An important contributor to the pop art movement of the 1960s, he is considered one of the most influential British artists of the 20th century.
Hockney has owned a home and studio in Bridlington, London, and two residences in California, where he has lived on and off since 1964: one in the Hollywood Hills, one in Malibu, and an office and archives on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood, California.
Hockney was born in Bradford, England, to Laura and Kenneth Hockney (a conscientious objector in the Second World War), the fourth of five children. He was educated at Wellington Primary School, Bradford Grammar School, Bradford College of Art (where his teachers included Frank Lisle and his fellow students included Norman Stevens, David Oxtoby and John Loker) and the Royal College of Art in London, where he met R. B. Kitaj. While there, Hockney said he felt at home and took pride in his work. At the Royal College of Art, Hockney featured in the exhibition Young Contemporaries—alongside Peter Blake—that announced the arrival of British Pop art. He was associated with the movement, but his early works display expressionist elements, similar to some works by Francis Bacon. When the RCA said it would not let him graduate if he did not complete an assignment of a life drawing of a female model in 1962, Hockney painted Life Painting for a Diploma in protest. He had refused to write an essay required for the final examination, saying he should be assessed solely on his artworks. Recognising his talent and growing reputation, the RCA changed its regulations and awarded the diploma. After leaving the RCA, he taught at Maidstone College of Art for a short time.
The artist moved to Los Angeles in 1964, where he was inspired to make a series of paintings of swimming pools in the comparatively new acrylic medium using vibrant colours. The artist lived back and forth among Los Angeles, London, and Paris in the late 1960s to 1970s. In 1974 he began a decade-long personal relationship with Gregory Evans who moved with him to the US in 1976 and as of 2018 remains a business partner. In 1978 he rented a house in the Hollywood Hills, and later bought and expanded it to include his studio. He also owned a 1,643-square-foot beach house at 21039 Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, which he sold in 1999 for around $1.5 million.
Hockney is openly gay, and has openly explored the nature of gay love in his portraiture. Sometimes, as in We Two Boys Together Clinging (1961), named after a poem by Walt Whitman, the works refer to his love for men. In 1963, he painted two men together in the painting Domestic Scene, Los Angeles, one showering while the other washes his back. In summer 1966, while teaching at UCLA he met Peter Schlesinger, an art student who posed for paintings and drawings, and with whom he became romantically involved.
On the morning of 18 March 2013, Hockney's 23-year-old assistant, Dominic Elliott, died as a result of drinking drain cleaner at Hockney's Bridlington studio; he had also earlier drunk alcohol and taken cocaine, ecstasy and temazepam. Elliott was a first- and second-team player for Bridlington rugby club. It was reported that Hockney's partner drove Elliott to Scarborough General Hospital where he later died. The inquest returned a verdict of death by misadventure and Hockney was never implicated. In November 2015 Hockney sold his house in Bridlington, a five-bedroomed former guest house, for £625,000, cutting all his remaining ties with the town.
He holds a California Medical Marijuana Verification Card, which enables him to buy cannabis for medical purposes. He has used hearing aids since 1979, but realised he was going deaf long before that. He often swims for half an hour each day and can stand for six hours at the easel.
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