Interviews with him are rare but, upon his vast retrospective making its way across the world, CNN Style was invited into David Hockney’s Los Angeles home and studio, dubbing him “the world’s most popular artist”.
Set deep in the Hollywood Hills, the Brit has lived there since 1979.
The home is described as a jumble of one and two-storey buildings and his studio, a vast white space in which he has created some of his most iconic works, was once a paddle tennis court.
Last year, Hockney celebrated his 80th birthday, but he shows no signs of slowing down. He’s now preparing for a new show with the Pace Gallery, set to open in April.
Currently dropping anchor at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York for the last time, it’s the second – and last – retrospective of his lifetime. It is showcasing more than 200 works, and offers a full look back at the artist’s remarkable six-decade career.
Hockney is obsessed with space, and his paintings generally depict observations of everyday life as a gay man:
‘It’s always space that I’m interested in – pictorial space,’ he says. ‘I’ve always been interested in it, and I still am. That’s what the whole [retrospective show] is about really.’
The Bradford native (or “English Angelino”, as he calls himself) decamped to California in 1964, where he painted his celebrated swimming pool series, including ‘A Bigger Splash’.
‘Swimming pools I always loved,’ he says. ‘I mean, all the wiggly lines they make – if you photograph them, it freezes them, whereas if you use paint, you can have wiggly lines that wiggle.’
So why the celebration?
His retrospective has already drawn well over a million visitors to London’s Tate Britain, the Pompidou Centre in Paris, and The Met – take a look at some of his work:
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