David Hockney was born in industrial Bradford and knew he wanted to be an artist from a very early age. He was given every encouragement by his accountant and amateur artist dad and devoted mum, who regularly lent him her face for portrait practice.
After leaving art school he realised that he'd much prefer to meet strangers and help them so he saw out his National Service in a hospital. In 1959 he began attending the Royal College Of Art but, and made friends with R. B. Kitaj.
As the swinging sixties got under way Hockney wowed everyone at the 1961 Young Contemporaries Exhibition, and his career went from success to success. In the minds of many people he is still associated with that era and is often incorrectly described as a Pop Artist, despite having categorically stated that he isn't and that he is terrified of 'movements', averring that he will always choose to go in the opposite direction to 'the crowd'.
In 1963 David returned to America and made his home in Los Angeles where he has mostly lived and worked ever since.