While many of the portraits in the Friends (Gemini G.E.L 1976 Portfolio) show Hockney’s friends and companions in a spare setting with just a few objects or features picked out, this work, entitled Sidney in his Office, is unusual for showing the sitter in his office. Seated in a cane chair at his desk with a large rolodex in front of him and sheets of paper strewn about the place, he appears to have been caught in the middle of a busy day. His figure is at ease however, as he turns his head to look over his right shoulder at something out of shot. Here Hockney demonstrates his mastery of lithography, using the medium to play with different effects of line and tone, adding surface and depth to the work. This series was made in collaboration with printer Kenneth Tyler of the Gemini workshop in LA and marks a departure from Hockney’s earlier etchings which were less painterly and more graphic in style. While lithography loses some of the immediacy of an etching – which allowed the artist to draw directly onto a plate as quickly as a sketch – it makes up for it with the possibility to reproduce areas of shading and diffused brushstroke-like marks which bring another layer of life to the portrait.