Once lovers, Gregory Evans and David Hockney remain friends many years after their separation. Hockney’s 40 portraits of Gregory, curator and Hockney’s business partner, reveal his long-time love for portraying his friends in his art. The resulting body of prints are a fascinating record of the slow process of ageing.
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Curator and ex-lover Gregory Evans has been the subject of over 40 of Hockney’s portraits, and the love between artist and muse here is clear The two met in Los Angeles in 1971 and developed a strong friendship that was characterised by its easy going nature, a quality that can be perceived in these most relaxed and intimate of portraits. They were lovers for ten years and when Hockney was asked in an interview who the love of his life has been he replied, ‘Maybe Gregory’.
The large number of portraits of Gregory show Hockney’s longtime fascination with depicting his friends in his art. Part of the appeal is undoubtedly the slow process of aging which he has ended up tracking through bodies of work such as these, familiarising himself over the years with his companion’s features and personalities. “When I get to know people,” he said, “I see more in the face.” For an artist obsessed with time and space, perspective and optics, the human face is a constantly changing landscape, a surface with many angles through which to study the effects of light and time.
Today, while the two are no longer romantically involved, Evans continues to manage David Hockney Studio, which oversees the artist‘s work and archives. In 2004 Evans edited the Thames and Hudson coffee table book Hockney’s Pictures which included over 50 years of Hockney's career organised by the artist himself according to the themes and subjects that have fascinated him since he first started out.