David Hockney at the Met

David Hockney turned 80 in July and has been creating memorable works of art for nearly sixty years. The Met is honoring Hockney with a retrospective that includes his most iconic works from 1960 to the present. The David Hockney exhibit, on display now, will be at the Met through Feb 25, 2018.

David Hockney at the Opera

Since 1982, David Hockney has been doing production design for the San Francisco Opera. Last month Hockney was presented with the San Francisco Opera Medal, the company’s most prestigious award, for his more than 35 years of service to the company.

Celia Birtwell, David Hockney’s Muse

In the 1960s, Hockney was primarily known for his portraits. Celia Birtwell, a British textile designer, was one of Hockney’s muses. Birtwell was married to fashion designer Ossie Clark. Hockney painted them often, both individually and as a couple.

Mr. and Mrs. Clark and Percy, part of the Tate’s collection, is one of  Hockney’s greatest works.

Although their marriage didn’t last and Clark was stabbed to death by his former lover in 1996 at age 54, both Birtwell and Hockney are doing well and remain friends to this day.

The 1974 film A Bigger Splash, taken from the title of his most well-known swimming pool painting, sheds some light on the relationship between Hockney and Birtwell. The film’s director, Jack Hazan, followed Hockney from 1970 to 1973 during the time that Hockney was in a turbulent relationship with his partner, Peter Schlesinger. The film was both unscripted and scripted and is a fascinating look at the life of the artist during an important period in his life.

In a 2017 Guardian interview, Birtwell said, “The first time I spotted David was at Portobello market. I was with a friend who knew him. He just stood out – he always has. He had on a corduroy jacket – and had the dyed blond hair. Ossie was better friends with him, and used to stay in his studio. I think he finds me a little bit ridiculous, but there is a fondness there. If I amuse him, then that’s a compliment. It definitely works both ways – he’s very funny.”

Hockney used one of his portraits of Birtwell, Celia with Green Hat as an inspiration for a 1985  cover of Paris Vogue. The magazine featured a 41-page spread of Hockney’s photocollages and the cubist-style work that they inspired.

David Hockney at VFA

Please contact us for more information about Celia with Green Hat or any of the other David Hockney works available at VFA.

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