Opening the series A Rake’s Progress, The Arrival is one of Hockney’s most famous early etchings. The artist began work on the portfolio while still studying at the Royal College of Art in 1961, following his first visit to New York. Here we encounter the figure of the artist for the first time as he arrives in the Big Apple on a rough path that looks like a cloud of smoke or a patch of the night sky. Wings sprout from his back, emblazoned with the words ‘Flying tyger’, a reference to American airline ‘Flying Tigers’ that has been given a Blakean twist. He carries a simple briefcase and appears to be walking towards the Empire State Building which is accompanied in the composition by its looming shadow, adding a sense of foreboding to this initial encounter with the city. At the top of the image a sun-like blob of red bears down on the scene, reflecting the heat of summer that can take on an oppressive quality in the confines of grid streets and skyscrapers. While the figure appears resolute in his forward motion there is something in him that evokes empathy in the viewer. His downturned mouth and blank eyes behind his glasses immediately tell us this will not be an altogether happy visit.