This 1979 portrait of publisher Jerry Sohn is remarkable for its inclusion in a portfolio that is mostly made up of portraits of women. The second series of prints Hockney made in collaboration with Gemini is dominated by intimate depictions of Celia Birtwell and Ann Upton; however this portrait, which shows the sitter staring directly at the artist and viewer, presents an interesting counterpoint. Sohn’s body is positioned away from our gaze but he turns his head back to meet it creating a classic effect that emphasises the posed nature of the portrait. Unlike many of the portraits of Ann and Celia, he has not been caught unawares in an intimate moment but seems defiantly aware of being observed. Hockney chooses to depict his friend’s shirt with watery brushstrokes that are beautiful in their transparency. His mass of curls is the darkest part of the print and his features have been picked out with just a handful of lines, recalling the elegant simplicity of Matisse’s portraits. While many of Hockney’s portraits are spare in terms of their setting, often comprising just a chair or a vase, here all ornamentation or set dressing has been eschewed.