How Adorable Was Young David Hockney? See These Never-Before-Published Warhol Polaroids

David Hockney turns 80 on July 9!

Andy Warhol portrait of David Hockney. Courtesy of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./Artimage.
Andy Warhol portrait of David Hockney. Courtesy of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./Artimage.

In honor of David Hockney‘s impending birthday—he turns 80 on July 9—a suite of never-before-seen portraits of the British artist, taken by American Pop art icon Andy Warhol, are being published for the first time.

The images were shot between 1972 and 1974, and were intended for Interview magazine, founded by Warhol in 1969. There are 10 Polaroid photos—one of Warhol’s favorite mediums late in his career—in total, three of which were released June 6.

They show a young Hockney with his trademark blonde locks. The artist was inspired to dye his hair by a 1960s Clairol TV ad that insisted “everybody should go blond,” and quickly made the look his signature.

Andy Warhol portrait of David Hockney. Courtesy of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./Artimage.

Andy Warhol portrait of David Hockney. Courtesy of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./Artimage.

With his knitted tie, cardigan sweater, and thick tortoise-shell glasses, Hockney stares coquettishly into the camera, resting his chin on his hand, or putting a finger in his mouth. The third image, from another shoot, looks more candid, with the artist clad in a blue blazer, white color shirt, and red tie, looking away from the camera and laughing.

A peek into Warhol’s archives suggests the two men shared a bond. (The Tate’s National Galleries of Scotland and New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art both have Warhol sketches of Hockney.)

“David Hockney came to lunch and Vincent [Fremont] did a video of him. And afterwards he went into the other room and did the interview,” wrote Warhol in his diary on March 26, 1981, of speaking with Hockney for the magazine. “David’s cute, he really is magic.”

Andy Warhol portrait of David Hockney. Courtesy of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./Artimage.

Andy Warhol portrait of David Hockney. Courtesy of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./Artimage.

Hockney later designed a cover for Interview in 1987, the year Warhol died. The British artist spent a day at the Factory the week before Warhol died, and was distraught to learn of his passing. “Now that Andy is gone, how will people know what the hot spot is each night? Andy always knew,” Hockney said following the memorial service, according to his longtime assistant, Charlie Scheips, in a Harper’s Bazaar article.

The images, which offer a tiny glimpse into Warhol and Hockney’s friendship, were released by Artimage, a UK-based digital image licensing company that is dedicated to Modern and contemporary art.


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