"The timing couldn't be better for this enjoyable and well-sourced book, which — like Hockney's own work — is both conversational and perceptive."
—Los Angeles Times
"An entertaining and intimate biography which leaves no aspect of the artist's life unexplored."
“What Mr. Sykes does best in these pages is capture Mr. Hockney’s almost preternatural love of making images, his passion for art, which dates to his earliest childhood ... Mr. Sykes offers some fascinating accounts of the evolution of certain well-known Hockney paintings and in doing so, traces the autobiographical impulses in Mr. Hockney’s work, his peregrinations from London to Paris to Los Angeles, his frank embrace of homosexual themes and his relationships with family, friends and lovers.”
—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
"Fluid, entertaining....Meticulously researched, Sykes's account is a pleasure to read."
—The New Yorker
"To read Christopher Simon Sykes' David Hockney
is to marvel at the artistic gifts of the eccentric Yorkshireman who rose from a sometimes pinched childhood to hobnob with poet Stephen Spender and novelist Christopher Isherwood, to party with Mick Jagger and Manolo Blahnik."
—The Plain Dealer
"Sykes' writing has a real raconteurial flair ... Along with Hockney's personal successes and travails, Sykes pays close attention to the art. He takes you inside Hockney's head, noting the artist's dissatisfaction with even some of his most highly regarded paintings and recording Hockney's thoughts on such artistic challenges as painting water."
—The Seattle Times
"Energetic, absorbing ... Sykes skillfully integrates Hockney’s private history with his public, artistic life to provide unusual insight into both his emotional and professional life."
"Intimate, vivid ... A personal, lively look at this extraordinary artist’s career. Readers will eagerly await the second volume."
“Lively and lavishly detailed. . . . Sykes’ portrait knits Hockney’s life and work together in perceptive and substantiated ways. Charismatic and funny, gregarious, inquisitive, phenomenally skilled and inventive, and forthright about his homosexuality, young Hockney embraced every opportunity to go somewhere new and try something different. And his prismatic, autobiographical, and provocative paintings, prints, and stage designs evolved accordingly during his sojourns in London, New York, Los Angeles, and Paris. Sykes profiles Hockney’s mentors, friends, and lovers—a veritable who’s who of the art world and high society—analyzes his influences and innovations, and ends on a high note.”—Booklist
“A chatty, knowledgeable, insider's biography, full of anecdotes.”
“Christopher Simon Sykes is quick to blow away the cobwebs in his biography, the first of two volumes, pointing to Hockney's trailblazing status. This is…an exhaustive and authoritative telling of the Hockney story.”
“Certainly the most moving and amusing account of the most popular British artist of the 20th century. [David Hockney
] bounces along as the rebellious, eccentric, funny artist discovers sex, then London, and so on to fame and fortune, via California. Sykes elicits marvellous background details and anecdotes… The wit, energy and magical talent of Hockney to use whatever happens to him to his purpose and for humour are shown on almost every page.”
—London Evening Standard