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Getty Museum Presents: Happy Birthday Mr. Hockney

Artistic Inspiration

British-born painter, photographer, print maker — David Hockney is renowned for his brilliant composition and the way he paints with photography. In celebration of the artist’s 80th birthday on July 9, the J. Paul Getty Museum presents Happy Birthday, Mr. Hockney, a two-part exhibition featuring Hockney’s rarely seen self-portraits, Polaroid composites and photo collages — including the Getty Museum’s masterpiece Pearblossom Hwy., 11–18th April 1986, #2, last shown in 2008. “His light-filled images of Los Angeles, where he has spent much of the past fifty years, have become icons of the city’s creative lifestyle and colorful personalities,” stated Getty Museum Director, Timothy Potts.


“The photograph isn’t good enough. It’s not real enough.” -- David Hockney

On display through Nov. 26, this two-part exhibition features many of Hockney’s greatest works, including a rarely seen collection of self-portraits. While Hockney was hesitant at first to use himself as a subject, his self-portrait work is extensive — spanning the past sixty-five years and including a number of mediums —photographs, sketches, watercolors and even an iPad. Hockney utilized the iPad in his latest series of self-portraits from 2012. The artist noted that, with the tool, he could develop layer-upon-layer. The result is a self-portrait series that contains more vivid color and depth (almost a 3-D quality) than his previous portrait work.


Image Credit: STRUKTR Studios

The second collection includes photographs from throughout the 1980s. Fans will get the special chance to view one of Hockney’s most famous works, Pearblossom Hwy., 11–18th April 1986, #2.

Masterfully curated by Julian Brooks, senior curator of drawings, and Virginia Heckert, curator of photographs, this exhibit is sure to walk guests through history and incredible art,alike. For more information, visit