David Hockney was born in Bradford, England on 9 July 1937 to Laura and Kenneth Hockney and was educated first at Wellington Primary School, then Bradford Grammar School, Bradford College of Art and the Royal College of Art in London, where he met R. B. Kitaj. While he was there David Hockney said he felt at home, he took pride and success in his work here.
While a student at the Royal College of Art, David Hockney was featured in the exhibition ‘Young Contemporaries’ – alongside Peter Blake – that announced the arrival of British Pop art. He was associated with the movement, but his early works also display expressionist elements, not dissimilar to certain works by Francis Bacon. Sometimes, as in We Two Boys Together Clinging (1961), named after a poem by Walt Whitman, these works make reference to his love for men. From 1963, David Hockney was represented by the art dealer John Kasmin.
In 1963, David Hockney visited New York, making contact with Andy Warhol. A subsequent visit to California, where he lived for many years, inspired David Hockney to make a series of paintings of swimming pools in Los Angeles, using the comparatively new acrylic medium and rendered in a highly realistic style using vibrant colours.
In 1967, his painting, Peter Getting Out Of Nick’s Pool, won the John Moores Painting Prize at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool. He made prints, portraits of friends, and stage designs for the Royal Court Theatre, Glyndebourne, La Scala and the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.