David Hockney is one of Britain's most eminent living artists. As a retrospective of his portraits opens in London, this guide to the show explains his inspiration, his influence and why fans think Hockney is important.
Audio slideshow produced by Claire Heald. Pictures by Emma Lynch. David Hockney Portraits is at the National Portrait Gallery, London until 21 January 2007.
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It's been some time since I have seen some of David Hockney's work - his work is as refreshing as ever, he's a very accomplished artist. Susan Alsford, Blackpool, England
Yes, one has to admit that David Hockney is one of the best contemporary painters for sure. His paintings offer many details and always convey a particular atmosphere. Klaus Eickhoff, Bochum, Germany
David Hockney is not only the greatest living British painter but also the greatest American one. Not since Hopper has anyone represented the American landscape as well, both physical and psychological. George Skelcher, New York
What a fabulous exhibition. I hope younger artists will now see that painting and drawing still has so much to offer. There is no need to shock through the use of the bizarre, instead colours and brushstrokes conveying feeling and thought, and can provoke a far more intense and meaningful reaction. Malachy, Oxford
I have been an admirer of Hockney's work since studying art at school in the 1970s. He is unquestionably a first class draughtsman and an exciting painter. He writes about his work in an unpretentious way, a virtue which is both refreshing and quite rare in the art world. He is not afraid to experiment, and even if we don't like everything he does his enthusiasm usually carries us along with him. I don't particularly like the trendy word 'accessible' when applied to art(Mr Hockney probably doesn't either), but if there is one internationally know living artist that fits this description, then it is this man, and for the best reasons. Charles, London
A lovely snapshot into the work of one of our great modern painters, I've always liked David Hockney's work and it always felt to me to bridge the gap between pop art or modernism and the classic painting styles. I always felt there was a stillness to each piece which was very moving. Adrian Power, Belfast
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