Portrait of an Artist is a story of two compositions: the photo of the artist Peter Schlesinger, his lover, staring at the floor and of photographer John St Clair swimming in a pool at Le Nid du Duc, south of France.
The initial work was destroyed by the artist after months of working and reworking in the middle of his breakup with Schlesinger. In April 1972, ahead of a planned NY exhibition, Hockney managed to create the painting in 2 weeks.
The post is based on Hockney's quote "I must admit I loved working on that picture,’ he would recall of that fortnight, ‘working with such intensity; it was marvelous doing it, really thrilling.’
Sources: David Hockney: A rake’s progress, Christopher Simon Sykes
David's portrait of an artist, 2018, Acrylic on canvas, 40" x 30" (102 x 76 cm)