85 years old: British artist David Hockney

Updated: Jul 18

The British painter, who is regarded as a pop art phenomenon, is one of the most important artists working today. On July 9, he turns 85.


David Hockney's favorite spot when he was a kid was upfront on an upper level of a double-decker bus. He could see most of the city's setting from there. The artist stated, "I always wanted to see more," in the 2015 documentary "Hockney," directed by Randall Wright. Later in life, Hockney worked relentlessly to capture anything that intrigued him, including images from daily life, sketches made by friends, houses, and onlookers.

Hockney has been experimenting with digital art techniques for years. He uses fax machines, color copiers, an iPhone as a sketchbook, and an iPad for direct painting while at work. The artist used his iPad to design a stained-glass window for Westminster Abbey in 2018. He frequently used the apparatus in the church hall, where the play of light served as an inspiration. His most recent iPad invention was a picture of musician Harry Styles.


One of Britain's most beloved artists, David Hockney is also a chain smoker in addition to being a global celebrity, global citizen, and bohemian.

He received the Premium Imperiale, referred to as the Nobel Prize for the arts, in 1989.

But Hockney sees himself as a relentless worker. He frequently gets up at dawn because he loves the peculiar early-morning light. The painter, who has a special love for landscape paintings, says, "I find it interesting to see how rain falls in a puddle and then to paint it.

Even as he approaches 85, Hockney's artistic curiosity and his spirit of exploration remain strong.

The artist has produced thousands of photographs and sketches in addition to almost 2,000 paintings. The latter were frequently used as studies for bigger works.


The British painter was also well-known in the US, where he resided from the 1960s until he returned to Bradford in 2000. After that, he made Normandy his home a while back.

Many notable artists, including Andy Warhol and Robert Rauschenberg, were acquainted with Hockney. Similar to his contemporaries, Hockney's vibrant acrylic paintings fetch great prices today.


2018 saw the highest price ever paid at auction for a painting by a living artist when his "Portrait of An Artist (Pool With Two Figures)" sold for $90.3 million (89 million euros).

Hockney recently admitted to being an anarchist in a humorous interview with The Guardian. He pulled out two cigarette stubs from his pocket for the meeting in the restaurant, which turned out to be sculptures from a Berlin gallery.


He even asserted that smokers had acquired coronavirus immunity during the pandemic. The artist had written a letter to The Daily Mail claiming a Chinese study had established the same in that letter.

Hockney solely smokes Davidoff cigarettes, which are available in the Netherlands and Germany. The artist relocated to France after staying in England when he returned from Los Angeles because, to him, smoking represents the freedom of the 1960s.


According to him, his period "was the most liberating moment likely ever. I've sequestered myself in a magnificent Normandy home where I can smoke and do as I like because I now recognize it's finished. That's where I'm staying, too."

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