© David Hockney: 'Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)' 1972. Photo: Art Gallery of New South Wales /Jenni Carter
If you had a choice between drizzly Britain and sun-drenched California, like Yorkshire-born David Hockney did, you’d probably choose the USA too. He left behind his degree at the Royal College of Art in 1964 and headed for warmer climes. What he found was a world of bright light, perfect swimming pools, sexual abandon and endless artistic possibilities that would change his art for ever. Gone was the Francis Bacon-esque expressionism of his earlier years, replaced with a simple, bold, colorful naturalism that reflected not just the weather and light of California, but the freedom, love and hedonism of his new lifestyle. He eventually started splitting his time between Yorkshire, Paris, London and Malibu, but the aching cool of Los Angeles never left his art.