More about 1. The Arrival


What could be better than a visit to New York if you were a young gay artist from dreary north England (cotton mill Yorkshire to be precise)?

As a kid Hockney fantasized about escaping to the Big Apple. As an art student in the 1960s he got to make the trip and just really really "I♡NY."  

When he got back to the UK Hockney raved about New York's openness and energy, and especially its wickedly bohemian gay scene. The trip changed his hair color forever (more on that later) and who he was as an artist. 

The Arrival is the first of a series of 16 etchings Hockney made about his stay in NY, called A Rake's Progress.

A fan of the art classic A Rake's Progress (1735) by Brit great William Hogarth, Hockney tells the story of the rise and decline of Tim Rakewell. Tim Rakewell visits NY, comes into great wealth, blows it all on cruisng gay bars, and ends up down-and-out as a automaton plugged into pop radio station WABC through a little transistor radio. Just awful.

Tim "is not really me," Hockney claims. "It’s just that I use myself as a model because I’m always around." Yes, of course.