His attitude towards his art is that he paints for people, not for critics. One painting that reflects this style perfectly is ‘Red Pots in the Garden’, which he painted in 2000.
Although he was born in Bradford in 1937 and still has a home in London, Hockney moved to California in 1964. It was from the balcony of his Hollywood Hills home that he created this oil on canvas painting and this is his personal view of his garden.
At the forefront of the picture is the blue, fenced balcony. On the balcony are a red folding table and red plant pots containing a variety of plants, including cacti. Beyond this, the painting depicts his garden and the large pool below the balcony. Some critics believe that Hockney intended for this painting to show his personal idea of paradise was his own garden.
Red Pots in the Garden is a typical example of David Hockney’s artistic style, particularly his work in the last two decades. Some have compared this to the style of Picasso because of the use of bold colours and block shapes in his work. Others disagree as Hockney’s work is not abstract; it is a clear representation of the subject even if the depth of detail is somewhat limited in some aspects of his paintings.
The boldest use of colour is at the forefront of the painting, with the striking blue of the balcony and the bright red of the plant pots. This section of the painting also has the largest blocks of colour. In the section depicting his garden, the shades used are subtle in pastel pinks, yellows and greens and there is a greater level of detail to create depth in the painting and draw the viewer’s eye beyond the balcony and pots.