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Prints by David Hockney (born 1937)

David Hockney is, quite simply, the greatest living British artist, as well as the most expensive – his 1972 Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) sold for a world record $90 million at auction in 2018.


This has only been beaten by Jeff Koons in 2019, when Rabbit went for a million and a bit more (but taking inflation into account, they’re evens). He’s also one of the least expensive artists – his prints have ensured that he is as financially as well as artistically accessible.  David Hockney is not solely a painter, he’s also a photographer, print-maker, theatre designer and draftsman. He was one of the first artists to create works on an iPad. And he’s an expert in how Old Masters used optical devices.

He was a precocious boy, beginning his studies at the Bradford School of Art aged just 16 and moving on to the Royal College of Art in 1959 – he was awarded the institution’s gold medal in 1962. A year later, his first solo show was a triumph. Since then, he has exhibited worldwide. He lives mainly in Bridlington, where his Yorkshire landscapes are painted, and California, his American home since 1964. But “I live wherever I happen to be,” he says.

David Hockney quotes

“Laugh a lot. It clears the lungs.”
“It’s very British to go about to see something unusual and paint it.
“Drawing makes you see things clearer, and clearer and clearer still, until your eyes ache.”

David Hockney factoids

He’s an inveterate smoker and holds nine honorary degrees.