Happy Birthday David Hockney! Discover the Artist’s LA Pool Paintings

A Bigger Splash, 1967 by David Hockney (Photo: Courtesy the artist's website).

A Bigger Splash, 1967 by David Hockney (Photo: Courtesy the artist’s website).

In honor of painter David Hockney’s 78th birthday, and this summer season, here are a selection of the artist’s iconic pool paintings:

Peter Getting Out of Nick's Pool, 1966 (Photo: Courtesy the artist's website).

Peter Getting Out of Nick’s Pool, 1966 (Photo: Courtesy the artist’s website).

David Hockney was born in the United Kingdom, but moved to California after graduating from school. There, he discovered that almost everyone owned a swimming pool, and that the pools could be used year round.

Picture of a Hollywood Swimming Pool, 1964 (Photo: Courtesy the artist's website).

Picture of a Hollywood Swimming Pool, 1964 (Photo: Courtesy the artist’s website).

These works, made from 1964 to 1971, feature the various ways the artist depicted the surface of the water—a particular challenge because of the way it changes with light and movement.

Portrait of an Artist (Pool with two figures), 1972 (Photo: Courtesy the artist's website).

Portrait of an Artist (Pool with two figures), 1972 (Photo: Courtesy the artist’s website).

“Water in swimming pools changes its look more than in any other form…But the look of swimming pools is controllable—even its colour can be manmade—and its dancing rhythms reflect not only the sky but, because of its transparency the depth of water as well,” Mr. Hockney wrote in his 1976 book, David Hockney by David Hockney. “I had to use techniques to represent this. If the water surface is almost still and there is a strong sun, then dancing lines with the colours of the spectrum appear everywhere.”

Schwimmbad Mitternacht (Paper Pool 11), 1978 (Photo: Courtesy the artist's website).

Schwimmbad Mitternacht (Paper Pool 11), 1978 (Photo: Courtesy the artist’s website).

Grab a bathing suit and dive in!

Water Pouring into Swimming Pool, Santa Monica 1964  (Photo: Courtesy of Tate Modern).

Water Pouring into Swimming Pool, Santa Monica, 1964 (Photo: Courtesy of Tate Modern).

Happy Birthday David Hockney! Discover the Artist’s LA Pool Paintings