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To See Clearly

A Portrait of David Hockney



Abrams Books for Young Readers

(pub. 9.19.2023)

48 pages

Ages 4-8

Author and Illustrator: Evan Turk


Character: David Hockney


"Growing up under the gray skies of England during World War II, David Hockney used art to brighten his world. He discovered that the more he looked and drew, the more he could see beneath the surface to find beauty, possibility, and new perspectives. In the most ordinary things, whether a splash of water, a changing landscape, or the face of a friend, David always found something to love, uniquely capturing the vibrancy and life of his subjects."

Tantalizing taste:

"David especially loved looking at the swimming pools. He enjoyed the way you could see the surface of the water, but also see through it to what was underneath. He felt that there was always more than one way to see something - and that the more carefully you looked, the more possibilities opened up.

He also liked the way painting made time slow down. He once spent two weeks depicting a giant splash of water that had only existed for a couple of seconds in real life!"

And something more: Evan Turk, in the Author's Note explains that "I remember walking through the David Hockney retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 2017 and feeling the enormous weight and excitement that comes with seeing an artist's life's work laid out in front of you. [I too saw such an amazing comprehensive exhibit at the DeYoung in San Francisco] ... His work is skilled, inventive, varied, and full of joy. As a gay artist myself, it was especially powerful to see his fearlessness ... But beyond that, what inspires me most about David Hockney's work is his relentless curiosity and love of life. The ability to get up every day and choose to see more beauty in the world is one of the greatest gifts an artist can give."


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