Born in the small town of Bradford in the north of England in 1937, Hockney had to fight to become an artist. After leaving his home for the Royal College of Art in London, his career flourished, his work appearing in galleries and sold alongside his professor’s works while still a student, but he continued to struggle with a sense of not belonging because of his homosexuality, which had yet to be decriminalized, and his inclination for a figurative style of art not sufficiently “contemporary” to be valued. Trips to New York and California—where he would live for many years and paint his iconic swimming pools—introduced him to new scenes and new loves, beginning a journey that would take him through the fraught years of the AIDS epidemic.
Cusset, author of thirteen award-winning, best-selling literary novels translated into eighteen languages, and whose novel L'autre qu'on adorait was shortlisted for the Prix Goncourt in 2016, skillfully depicts a David Hockey driven by impulse to always do and create what resonates most viscerally. In her intimate and lively portrait, Cusset submerges the reader in Hockney’s life with clear and bright prose, offering a lens into an artist of unlimited and unfiltered potential, reflected and represented through his dynamic oeuvre, but also as a human being with a tireless work ethic, caring deeply for his family and friends, stumbling and vulnerable at times and defined also by the turns of adversity and loss. LIFE OF DAVID HOCKNEY offers an original look inside the life of a groundbreaking artist in form and style, a painter, draftsman and set designer whose art is as accessible as it is compelling, and whose passion to create is never deterred by heartbreak, illness or loss.