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Billion Dollar Painter

Who is David Hockney?

David Hockney is an English painter, draftsman, printmaker, and stage designer who was born on July 9, 1937. He is considered one of the most influential British artists of the 20th century and is known for his vibrant and colorful paintings and drawings.

Hockney was born in Bradford, Yorkshire, and attended art school in London before moving to Los Angeles in the 1960s. It was in California where he gained fame for his work, which often featured scenes of swimming pools, palm trees, and other elements of the California lifestyle.

Throughout his career, Hockney has experimented with a variety of media, including acrylics, watercolors, and even iPad drawings. He has also been a pioneer in the use of technology in art, and his digital works have been exhibited in major galleries and museums around the world.

Hockney’s art has been celebrated for its bright colors, bold lines, and lively compositions. He has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions and retrospectives, including shows at the Tate Modern in London and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

In addition to his work as a painter and draftsman, Hockney has also designed sets and costumes for opera and ballet productions. He was made a member of the Order of Merit in 2012, and he continues to produce new work and influence the art world today.

Billion Dollar Painter

“Billion Dollar Painter” is a memoir written by the artist David Hockney’s former assistant, Lawrence Gowing. The book details Gowing’s experiences working with Hockney during the 1960s and 1970s, a time when Hockney’s art was gaining immense popularity and critical acclaim.

Gowing describes Hockney as a fiercely independent and driven artist who was always searching for new ways to express his creativity. Hockney was known for his bold use of color, his experimentation with different media, and his ability to capture the essence of his subjects in his paintings.

Gowing also provides a glimpse into the behind-the-scenes world of the art market during the 1960s and 1970s. He describes the role of art dealers, collectors, and critics in shaping the public’s perception of Hockney’s art, and the impact that this had on Hockney’s career and personal life.

Throughout the book, Gowing details the many challenges that Hockney faced as a young artist. He discusses Hockney’s struggles to gain recognition in the art world, the financial pressures that he faced, and his personal relationships with friends and lovers.

Despite these challenges, Hockney’s art continued to flourish, and Gowing’s account provides a fascinating look at the evolution of his work over the years. He discusses the development of Hockney’s signature style, his experimentation with different media, and his evolving views on the role of art in society.

Gowing also provides valuable insights into the creative process of an artist like Hockney. He describes the long hours that Hockney would spend in his studio, the many sketches and preliminary studies that he would make before starting a painting, and the role of intuition and inspiration in the artistic process.

One of the most fascinating aspects of the book is the relationship between Hockney and Gowing himself. Gowing was not just a mere assistant, but a close friend and confidant of Hockney’s, and his insights into Hockney’s personality and character are invaluable.

Throughout the book, Gowing also explores the wider social and cultural context of Hockney’s art. He discusses the impact of the social and political changes of the 1960s on the art world, and how Hockney’s art reflected and responded to these changes.

Overall, “Billion Dollar Painter” is a fascinating and engaging memoir that offers valuable insights into the life and work of one of the greatest artists of our time. Gowing’s writing is accessible and engaging, and his account of his experiences working with Hockney is both entertaining and informative. Whether you are a fan of Hockney’s art or simply interested in the creative process, this book is a must-read.

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