My Mother, Los Angeles, Dec is a signed print by British artist David Hockney from 1982 and is part of the Photo Collages collection of works. Characteristic of Hockney’s signature approach to photomontage, it is a key example of what the artist named ‘joiners’. It is part of a limited edition of 20.
Much like another of Hockney’s photo collage pieces from the same year, such as My Mother, Bolton Abbey, Yorkshire, November (1982), My Mother, Los Angeles, Dec (1982) depicts Hockney’s mother, Laura, following the death of her husband, Kenneth. Although Hockney’s mother is the main focal point of its composition, the piece makes a point of including numerous other details within its ocular scope, mostly in the form of household objects; dotted around Laura Hockney we can see a Poinsettia plant, a large collection of what appear to be encyclopaedias, and a suitcase which alludes to Hockney’s mother having travelled to visit her son in the United States from Yorkshire. In a nod to the theatrical preoccupations of some of Hockney’s earlier ‘80s works and the Hockney And The Stage series, a book on wildly-successful English theatre actor John Gielgud is positioned at Hockney’s mother’s feet; referencing the artist’s recent work for the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, a painted sketch of a pulcinella character sits on top of the bookcase. These many small details disrupt the habitual, unifocal scope of the traditional portrait – a format only further questioned by the whimsical inclusion of Hockney’s own feet at the bottom of the composition, a gesture which renders this piece a double portrait of sorts. Much like in many of the other prints in this series, including Luncheon At The British Embassy, Tokyo, February 16th 1983 (1983), or Gregory Reading In Kyoto (1983), each individual image mimics the movement of Hockney’s eye.