The inspiration for Man In Shower In Beverly Hills, occurred while the British born artist was staying in California.
Hockney was surrounded by toned and bronzed men who clearly knew how good they looked, and weren’t shy about showing off their physique. During this period in his life, Hockney painted many naked men, which helped to perfect his style of art to which he would become world famous.
It was while living in California that Hockney felt most at home with his sexuality, and was able to live freely as a gay man.
What we observe in this painting is a naked man bent forward while showering. We see the colourful tiled walls, shower curtain and a plant that is positioned so that it covers part of the nam’s legs. While most of the body is ambiguous, including the face which cannot be seen as the man is bending forwards, away from the observer, what is extremely prominent are the man’s buttocks. This is clearly shown through a slightly different lighter shade of colour, drawing the observer’s eye to that particular part of his anatomy.
Hockney also liked to paint scenes that featured water, and was fascinated with the changes that water made to the human body and its environment. He depicted water on canvas as sprays, splatters and droplets. He painted many scenes that features lawn sprinklers, swimming pools and showers.
This painting incorporates many of Hockney’s favourite themes, those of water, the naked body and fluid movement. He was an accomplished painter of the nude body, but openly admitted to the struggle of painting feet, hence the addition of the plant in the painting, covering the man’s lower legs and feet.