The British textile and fashion designer Celia Birtwell has been a close friend and confidant of David Hockney‘s since the 1960s. Sharing northern roots and a similar sense of humor, the two found that they had much in common from their first meeting, and together they were at the heart of Bohemian London. Hockney has always been fascinated by the changing nature of Celia’s face and she remains, to this day, one of his favorite models.
Although Celia is often described as Hockney’s “muse,” the relationship is more than that. They have always admired each other’s work and her sittings for him have been collaborations as well as an opportunity to enjoy one another’s company. In his portraits of Celia, Hockney has always paid close attention to her bold and romantic fabric designs, some of which are inspired by his work.
David Hockney completed this crayon drawing, Celia in Hollywood, May 1984 (1984) during a period when he was thinking anew about Pablo Picasso. The work alludes to Picasso’s iconic images of seated women and demonstrates Hockney’s move away from his naturalistic depictions of the 1970s. Celia‘s striped top is also a reference to the style of clothing often worn by Picasso.
Photographed in the Morgan Library and Museum in Manhattan.