This portrait of the artist’s friend David Hockney is typically Blake. The composition recalls a glossy magazine spread, blurring the lines between fine and popular art forms. Blake painted both Hockney and the figure behind him from photographs, a method which alludes to Hockney’s own work, for which he sourced images from magazines. The figure of the young man probably refers to Hockney’s homosexuality.
Portrait of David Hockney in a Hollywood Spanish Interior, 1965
One of the leading figures in British pop art, Peter Blake is known for his urban realist subjects. Born in Dartford in 1932, he moved to London to study at the Royal College of Art in 1956. Remaining in the city for more than a decade, Blake was at the cultural centre of vibrant 1960s London. His work fuses high art and popular culture, referencing historical artworks, weekly magazines, children’s stories, movie stars and musicians. His output is famously broad ranging and includes painting, graphic design, collage, book illustration, sculpture and printing. He was the subject of a retrospective exhibition at Tate Britain in 1983.