I’ve always thought of David Hockney as a truly American artist (even though he is originally from the UK). His subject matter is the pinnacle of midcentury consumerism in a lot of ways. His swimming pool series is among my favorite – infinity pools nestled high above the hills of civilization. And I love the way that he combines very flat areas of color with an unexpected splash of texture. And what style – check out those glasses!
I always found his photo mosaics fascinating as well. Though it seems to be requisite in every college photo class to attempt these, he really has a knack for being able to use photographs to create an almost picass0-like experience. His portraits are also amazing – he seems to capture the essence of a person rather than the exact details of their face. Plus, the way he stages them with unusual props and somewhat award poses is pure genius.
The photo mosaic of the highway in California really exemplifies what I mean about his American-ness. It is a unique subject matter, in its plant life but also in the celebration of the great open road. He also doesn’t gloss over the scattered beer cans and other litter dotting the highway.
And oh, what colors he uses! He has a very distinctive blue that makes an appearence in most of his paintings. It’s not washed out but it’s also not too bright.
He’s a very prolific artist, and his work covers all manners of styles and disciplines. You can find his official website along with a lot more of his work here.