Perhaps the most popular and versatile British artist of the 20th century, David Hockney, was born on this day in 1937. Happy birthday David Hockney!

David Hockney was born in Bradford, Yorkshire in 1937 to a working class family. He went on to a prize-winning career as a student at the Royal College of Art. It was there that he met fellow artists such as Peter Blake, R.B. Kitaj, Peter Philips and Patrick Caulfield, who were to become stars of the British Pop Art Scene. By his mid-20s, Hockney had already become one of the most critically acclaimed contemporary artists in Britain.

Did you know.... like his father, Hockney was a conscientious objector, and worked as a medical orderly in hospitals during his National Service (1957–59). He is also a staunch pro-tobacco campaigner and was invited to guest-edit the Today programme on 29th December 2009 to air his views on the subject, “Smoking calms me down. It's enjoyable. I don't want politicians deciding what is exciting in my life.” (Hockney)