Revered Pop artist David Hockey has unveiled a portrait of internationally recognized pop singer Harry Styles at his upcoming autumn exhibition at the recently-refurbished National Portrait Gallery in London.
This is the second iteration of the artist’s exhibition, titled “David Hockney: Drawing from Life,” that opened in 2020 for only 20 days.
Featuring over a hundred of Hockey’s pencil, ink, watercolor, and iPad drawings created over the last six decades, the 2020 show was put on hold following the museum’s closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic. A US$52 million refurbishment took place post-pandemic — the first large-scale renovation since the opening of the museum in 1896.
Apart from the museum’s new interior design and rehang of regular exhibitions, those who visit Hockney’s show will get to see new additions to the exhibition: over thirty extra works the artist created between 2021 and 2022.
The additional exhibits include a new portrait of the artist himself, his friends, and some visitors to his Normandy studio in France. One of those visitors happens to be the British pop singer, Harry Styles.
“David Hockney has been reinventing the way we look at the world for decades,” Styles said in a Vogue interview, adding that “it was a complete privilege to be painted by him.”
As per the Vogue article, Styles’ visit was first suggested by another subject of Hockey’s portraiture, music producer Clive Davis.
Having been a fan of Hockney for so long and after receiving the invitation from Hockey’s studio assistant, Styles visited the artist’s studio in May 2022 for the portrait’s completion.
In the process of painting, it wasn’t Styles’ fame Hockney saw, as he said he wasn’t aware of the singer’s popularity, and that Styles “was just another person who came to the studio.”
Instead, Hockney’s focus went toward the gentleman in front of him as a person. This outcome was based on pure observation and the connection they made in the studio.
Taking two days to complete, Hockney applied his usual autobiographical depiction to Styles’ portrait, displaying the singer in a seated posture and in his red-and-yellow striped cardigan with a pearl necklace.
Hockey’s Harry Styles portrait was unveiled on the museum’s website and highlighted as one of the key exhibits of David Hockney: Drawing from Life that will open at the National Portrait Gallery on November 2 running through to January 21 of next year.
November 2, 2023 - January 21, 2024