In May 2022, Harry Styles visited renowned British artist David Hockney at his studio in Normandy, France, for a portrait session.

At 86 years old, iconic artist David Hockney, with a lifetime dedicated to observation and creation, describes the secret to portraits is to always begin with the face. Hockney explains, "I begin with the head first. From there, I place everything else."

David Hockney, born in 1937, is widely celebrated for his significant contributions to the pop art movement and his innovative approach to contemporary art, often characterised by vivid colours and a distinctive blend of realism and abstraction.

Hockney's influence extends beyond traditional mediums, as he has embraced technology, creating digital art and iPad drawings. With a career spanning several decades, Hockney remains a trailblazer, continuously challenging artistic norms and reshaping the way we perceive and engage with art.

Harry Styles has long been a fan of Hockney, and was excited to sit for him over the two days it took to complete the artwork. Hockney's aim was to capture the essence of the person before him, and experience interaction between the artist and subject, rather than playing on Styles' fame and trying to capture a perfect mirror image of Styles. The artwork is a result of an experience, a representation of a moment in time.

Harry Styles by David Photo of Hockney

The instant rapport shared by the duo was fuelled by Styles' genuine admiration for Hockney, evident in his 2020 Vogue cover shoot featuring hand-painted Bode cords with a talismanic Hockney illustration. Styles expresses, "David Hockney has been reinventing the way we look at the world for decades. It was a complete privilege to be painted by him."

Hockney's artistic vision, often playful and kaleidoscopic, resonates with honesty. The resulting portrait is part of Hockney's "Drawing from Life" exhibition, showcasing a unique approach to life drawing. At Paintvine, we embrace similar techniques in our Uncanvased events, where customers experience art as expressive movements and mark making, rather than a pursuit of realism.

Hockney's commitment to drawing echoes Leonardo da Vinci's belief in steadily seeing nature's truth. Hockney and Styles, in their artistic symbiosis, remind us that creativity thrives in the honest expression of the human experience.

Photo of Hockney painting Harry Styles at the artist’s studio in Normandy was taken by JP Gonçalves de Lima.