Perhaps the most famous print form Hockney’s celebrated series Illustrations For Fourteen Poems By C.P. CavafyTwo Boys Aged 23 Or 24 sees the artist returning to a dominant subject in this portfolio, that of two men lying naked in bed. In contrast to works such as The Beginning and In Despair, however, here the men are shown lying on their fronts, their heads resting on the pillow, perhaps engaged in an intimate post coital moment, perhaps sleeping. Unlike in other works here the sheets are patterned with dark rings, suggesting lifebuoys floating on a wavy sea. They seem unaware of being watched, presenting a contrast to other works in which the figures appear stiffly posed under the artist’s gaze. As with other works the background is kept to a minimum, the wall almost bare except for an area of shadow rendered in crosshatched marks. Overtly intimate, the work celebrates queer love by depicting a moment of tenderness and presents a stark contrast to Cavafy’s poem, which it accompanies, in which homosexual desire was hidden behind veiled references because of its illicit nature. Working in 1967 Hockney was able to bring this desire to the surface and put this pair of lovers centre stage.