The painting itself is of two of Hockney’s friends: a famous fashion designer called Ossie Clark, and a textile designer who was his then-wife Cecilia Birtwell.
A little bit of background information on this painting would be that this painting was just painted after the couple’s wedding in which Hockney not only attended but was also the best man to Mr Clark.
The painting itself is minimalist in style, and the setting of the picture seems to be rather informal.
The viewer of the art can tell instantly that both Mr and Mrs Clarke are not poor as the room itself is filled with fresh colours which give off a rather relaxing feeling. The vivid colours help the couple stand out in the picture because both Mr and Mrs Clark are wearing rather bright clothing, for example, the bright red in Mrs Clarke’s dress and the light blue jumper that Mr Clarke is wearing.
As the furniture itself is also rather pale, it helps the green vase with the white lilies stand out which is important because the lilies symbolise purity and these flowers were added because at the time of the painting Mrs Clarke was pregnant.
Now to talk about Percy, he is the cat of the family, Percy is a white cat who in the picture is sitting on the lap of Mr Clark. The rather peculiar thing about this painting is that both Mr and Mrs Clarke had two cats and the cat that is in the painting is not Percy but their other cat Blanche.
Many people began wondering why the switching of the names took place but there have been two interesting theories.
The first theory is that because Percy is sitting up on Mr Clarke’s crotch and Percy is slang for penis is why the name change took place. The second theory is because cats are a sign of infidelity and there were rumours the Mr Clarke was bisexual and was cheating on his wife which led to their break up after three years of marriage.