Myself And My Heroes

Myself And My Heroes
Signed Print

David Hockney

Intaglio, 1961
Signed Print Edition of 50
H 26cm x W 50cm

Critical Review

The signed screen print Myself And My Heroes is from an edition of 50. From 1961, this print was produced just after Hockney completed his studies at the Royal College of Art. In this period, Hockney was very much a young artist ‘to watch’ and had featured in the hotly tipped Young Contemporaries exhibition, held at RBA Galleries in London, for two years running. Evoking the style of the acclaimed painting, We Two Boys Together Clinging (1961), Myself And My Heroes depicts American writer Walt Whitman (a source of intertextual reference for the earlier painting) and Mahatma Gandhi, leader of the India’s non-violent independence movement against British rule. Standing to their right is Hockney himself, depicted with glasses and wearing a cap. Graffiti-like writing surrounds the figures, scrawled in an untutored, child-like style first suggested to Hockney by the work of French surrealist Jean Dubuffet. Identifying the figures in a naïve and didactic fashion which makes use of text, Hockney outlines his reasons for holding the figures to such acclaim – a fact only compounded by their haloes, which recall those of Byzantine icons. Atop Hockney’s superbly gestural etching work is the title of the piece, ‘Myself And My Heroes’.