David Hockney

David Hockney, “Jungle Boy”, 1964, Etching and Aquatint Printed in Colors, Printed on Mould-Made Paper, Published by Associated American Artists

This etching is from a formative part of David Hockney’s life: the years from 1961 to 1964, That period spans part of his time at the Royal College of Art, where he was a student form 1959 to 1962; his first years as an independent London artist; and a period in which his printmaking focused entirely on etching. During this time, Hockney had his first visit to the United States, funded by an art prize for one of his prints. It was also during this period that Hockney created his renowned “A Rake’s Progress” series of etchings after his return to London.

David Hockney’s early print work are examples of his raw talent and ability to transform the artistic medium he works with. He began making prints as a student in 1961 because he could not afford paint supplies. He mastered the medium and made prints with abandon, using the medium to reflect upon his life as a young art student in London at that time, creating a portrait of the artist as a young man.

“I started doing graphic work in 1961 because I’d run out of money and I couldn’t buy any paint, and in the graphic department they gave you the materials for free. So I started etching, and the first I did was Myself and My Heroes. My heroes were Walt Whitman and Gandhi. There was a little quote from each of them, but for myself I couldn’t find anything – I hadn’t made any quotes – so it just said, ‘I am twenty-three years old and wear glasses,’ the only interesting thing I could think to say about myself.” -David Hockney, 1976

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