Similarly to another work from David Hockney’s Tyler Graphics 1979 Portfolio, Joe With David Harte, here the artist returns to a composition featuring figures in opposite corners of a room. In the foreground we find a man in a striped t-shirt smoking a cigarette, his eyes seeming to meet our gaze and yet shifted slightly to the left. His posture is reclined and he appears at ease in contrast to the woman in the background who sits stiffly in her chair, her hands folded in her lap, reminding us of Whistler’s mother. Her features are more difficult to make out and are also reminiscent of Fauvist portraits by Matisse and Vlaminck. Rendered in orange and red ink the work is notable for its painterly style which belies its medium. Made using a brush dipped in tusche (diluted lithographic ink), this technique – originally adopted by Toulouse Lautrec – allowed Hockney to recreate the loose lines of his watercolours or pen and ink sketches, marking a strong contrast with his etchings which are more easily identifiable as prints. Here, with just a few lines and areas of shade, Hockney is able to convey the enigmatic expression of his sitter Johnny’s face, in a work that is by turns striking and unsettling.