Peter getting out of Nick’s pool

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Peter getting out of Nick’s pool, acrylic on canvas, by David Hockney, 1966

(via Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool)

In 1966 Hockney travelled to Los Angeles for the second time. Greatly attracted by the sunny climate and relaxed atmosphere of West Coast America, he began to record the lifestyle there in his work. He went on to produce a series of paintings based on the theme of the swimming pool.

Here, Hockney’s friend Peter Schlesinger is depicted climbing out of the swimming pool of Nick Wilder, a Los Angeles gallery owner. The painting is a composite view. Schlesinger did not actually model in the pool; the pose derives from a snapshot of him leaning against his MG sports car. The white border and square format of the painting are reminiscent of the Polaroid prints Hockney used as studies for the composition. Source.

6 thoughts on “Peter getting out of Nick’s pool

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  1. I knew the painting as soon as I saw the title of your post. I’ve never been sure whether I like it or not. What’s Mr Hockney trying to say: It’s nice in California? Naked men are a Good Thing? (I’m not disagreeing by the way). But it always seems a bit – – well – – as though there’s something missing, I suppose. It just doesn’t quite do it for me. (Art Critic, now, on a Saturday afternoon, ooh get HER.)

  2. Daphne – I saw it in a newspaper and googled it. David Hockney is such a big thing in UK art but I’m an avid follower by any means. The picture is OK. Not something I’d hang on my wall though.

    Josh – err yes! (?)

    Enrico – yup, pretty odd!

  3. Hockney is trying to depict what life is like in Los Angeles — Sunny weather, pools, luxurious houses just…. relaxation but in reality..we all know that ain’t right.

  4. Vince – yeh, I bet much of it is not like that at all. Quite the opposite in fact. Even I’ve heard of ‘south central LA’ and I live a long way from there.

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