'Peter Getting Out of Nick's Pool', David Hockney, 1966

Naked man pulling himself out of a pool

© David Hockney/Collection: Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool.

Acrylic on canvas, 152 x 152cm

Accession Number WAG6605

This cheeky painting won the 1967 John Moores competition|.

In 1966 Hockney travelled to Los Angeles for the second time. Greatly attracted by the sunny climate and relaxed atmosphere of West Coast America, he began to record the lifestyle there in his work. He went on to produce a series of paintings based on the theme of the swimming pool.

Here, Hockney's friend Peter Schlesinger is depicted climbing out of the swimming pool of Nick Wilder, a Los Angeles gallery owner. The painting is a composite view. Schlesinger did not actually model in the pool; the pose derives from a snapshot of him leaning against his MG sports car. The white border and square format of the painting are reminiscent of the Polaroid prints Hockney used as studies for the composition.

An extended study of 'Peter Getting Out Of Nick's Pool|' is available online as part of our Artwork of the Month series.

Photo credit: Richard Schmidt