ARTS & CULTURE

David Hockney Birthday: Cheers To One Of Britain's Most Famous Painters (PHOTOS)

07/09/2013 08:44 am ET
AP

In honor of David Hockney's 76th birthday, we are revisiting a post originally published last year honoring the artist's life and work.

David Hockney was born on July 9, 1937 in Bradford, Yorkshire -- the fourth of five children in a traditional middle class English family. Hockney's father was an accountant an an amateur artist and his mother was a devoted homemaker who instilled in her children a serious work ethic, one that would certainly serve the budding artist well later in life.

After graduating from Bradford School of Art in the late 1950s, Hockney immediately began making waves in the art world. In fact, you can see an illustrated chronology on his website here. He achieved international acclaim through his pool paintings, done on a trip to Southern California where he met Christopher Isherwood and Kenneth E. Tyler, among other like-minded writers and artists. It was here that Hockney met his former boyfriend and painting subject, photographer Peter Schlesinger, who told the Daily Beast that Hockney “taught me that you learn painting by doing it."

david hockney

British artist David Hockney passes one of his paintings as he arrives for a news conference on the occasion of his exhibition "David Hockney - A Bigger Picture" at the Museum Ludwig in Cologne, Germany. (AP Photo/dapd, Tim Schulz)

In 1986, the Television Personalities recorded their tongue-in-cheek album, "They Could Have Been Bigger Than The Beatles." On the second song, they sing, wistfully, "Most of all, I want to be in David Hockney's diaries..." referring to the seminal 1970s documentary about the English painter, where he talks about getting his inspirations from photo diaries of his life and travels. At that time Hockney seemed to know everyone worth knowing in the art world and beyond, and it was no surprise he'd get lambasted and venerated in equal measure.

Despite the changing tides of the art world, Hockney continued pursuing his passion for representational landscapes, still employing traditional painting techniques today. Though he's incorporated a few new tricks along the way as well. Just last year, he depicted the Queen in an iPad drawing to mark the Jubilee. Sort of like when, in 1985, he used the Quantel Paintbox to "paint" on a screen.

In honor of Hockney's 76th birthday we've put together a slideshow of some of his works. Scroll through the paintings and let us know your favorite in the comments.

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