Hockney by Christopher Simon Sykes

Because we can’t get enough of Hockney! Inspired by the excellent show at the Royal Academy (click here for more on that), we are reading Christopher Simon Sykes’s biography of the artist. We’re loving it. It’s a great story – that of the Bradford boy who arrived in London in September 1959 and took the town and art world by storm – and Sykes tells it particularly well, giving the reader richly detailed portraits not just of the artist and those close to him (what an amazing cast list this story has), but of his surroundings – whether it be Bradford in the fifties, London as it awakened in the early sixties, or the bohemian glamour spots of Provence and California in the late sixties and early seventies. It’s an inspiring read too, because Hockney emerges as so much fun, so irreverent and fearless and ready for joy – but also as such a prodigiously hard worker. We’re racing through the book – Hockney and Sykes make such engaging company – and realise with both sorrow and pleasure that this is just Volume One of the story. Yay, we’ll get more. Oh no, we have to wait. Highly recommended.

Hockney: The Biography, Volume 1, by Christopher Simon Sykes
£25 or £17 on Amazon
— Daisy
19th January 2012

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