'Peter Getting out of Nick's Pool', David Hockney, 1966
© David Hockney/Collection: Walker Art Gallery, National Museums Liverpool
Acrylic paint on canvas
This painting reflects the impact of Hockney’s move in 1964 to California, with its sunny climate, relaxed lifestyle and vibrant colours. The pool, in Hollywood, belonged to Los Angeles gallery owner Nicholas Wilder. The figure is Hockney’s new lover and muse, Peter Schlesinger.
Hockney based the painting partly on a Polaroid photograph of Peter leaning against an MG sports car. The painting’s shape echoes the format of a photograph. A border of un-primed canvas was left ‘to make the picture look more like a painting’. Hockney wanted to emphasise the process of picture-making and expose the trickery involved.
To depict the reflection of light on the window and in the water he follows the conventions of comics and advertisements, using parallel or rope-like wriggly lines over strong, flat colours. Masking tape was used to create the straight lines in the scene.
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Photo credit: Richard Schmidt