Oh, to be a fly on the wall in Andy Warhol's Factory in the 1970s when David Hockney came to visit. The pop art titan and the influential British painter crossed paths numerous times in the 70s and 80s, and on at least a few of those occasions, Warhol commemorated their friendship through candid Polaroid portraits of Hockney, a selection of which have just been released by Artimage in celebration of the artist's 80th birthday on July 9.
The images range from candid shots to posed portraits, giving viewers instant, behind-the-scenes insight into the two friends' lives. A youthful, flaxen-haired Hockney peacocks for the camera, playfully biting his finger and playing with his hair, his bright blue eyes glinting behind round glasses. In one joyful shot, the painter turns the camera on Warhol himself. It's wonderfully relaxed, with Hockney clad in a t-shirt, seated on the floor.
All of the images available from Artimage were shot between 1972 and 1974, but the artists maintained a friendship until Warhol's death in 1987. While Hockney was being profiled for Warhol's Interview Magazine in March 1981, Warhol noted in his diary: "[…] David Hockney came to lunch and Vincent [Fremont] did a video of him. And afterwards he went into the other room and did the interview. David's cute, he really is magic. […]"
Hockney, who was born on July 9, 1937, is known for his bold, saturated scenes of LA opulence. He's perhaps most famous for his pool paintings, conveying an idyllic midcentury Californian lifestyle, yet the octogenarian artist's style has evolved throughout his career, working in collage, printmaking, and most recently composing work on an iPad. A recently-closed David Hockney retrospective became the Tate Britain's most popular show to date. That exhibition travels to the Centre Pompidou in Paris from June 21 to October 23, followed by the Metropolitan Museum in New York from November 21 to February 25, 2018.
To view and purchase all the Polaroid portraits of David Hockney by Andy Warhol, click here.