David’s Pools

Picture of a Hollywood Swimming Pool / 1964

The moment you cheat for the sake of beauty, you know you’re an artist.

David Hockney


David Hockney is considered one of the most influential British artists of the 20th century. David was born in England in 1937 and attended art school in London before moving to L.A. in 1966. It was there that David started painting his famous swimming pools. To a young artist who had grown up in Britain during WWII, experiencing ghastly deprivation and the harshness of rationing, these swimming pools would have seemed extraordinarily luxurious and mind-blowingly exotic.

David was drawn to the light and the heat of California and his paintings seem to open up an idyllic world of leisure, bright light and sexual openness; all totally removed from the greyness and repression that he’d left behind. The swimming pool would become the setting for many of his paintings of the 1960s and 1970s, and these representations would become defining images in the cultural identity of Southern California.

HOT TIP: If you dig David’s work as much as we do, and you’re in Paris right now – you can see it in the flesh! The exhibition runs until October 23 2017.

David Hockney Retrospective
The Centre Pompidou
Place Georges Pompidou
Paris 4e

Portrait of Nick Wilder / 1966

Sunbather / 1966

Rubber Ring Floating in a Swimming Pool / 1971

Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) / 1972

John St. Clair Swimming / 1972

A Large Diver / 1978

David Hockney Painting the Pool at The Hotel Roosevelt in L.A. / 1989