An important contributor to the Pop art movement of the 1960s, Hockney is considered one of the most influential British artists of the twentieth century. He enrolled in the College of Art in 1953 and began painting with oils, his medium of choice for most of his life. Hockney learned that painting was a process of seeing and thinking, rather than one of imitation. His artwork was abstract and quite personal and allowed him to deal with human sexuality and love in a public, yet still inhibited manner. While he was there Hockney said he felt at home, he took pride and success in his work here. During his studies, he was featured in the exhibition Young Contemporaries—alongside Peter Blake—that announced the arrival of British Pop art. He was associated with the movement, but his early works also display expressionist elements, not dissimilar to certain works by Francis Bacon.
In 1963 Hockney visited New York and befriended Andy Warhol, at whose studio young artists often met and socialized. A subsequent visit to California, where he lived for many years, inspired Hockney to make a series of paintings of swimming pools in Los Angeles, using the comparatively new acrylic medium and rendered in a highly realistic style using vibrant colours.
Hockney's life and all his loves are always on display to the public. By embracing all sorts of technology and media, Hockney has made his art accessible to people everywhere. He has used art to express the love he has felt for others, and consequently, his works show personal stake and personal meaning. Ironically, his artwork caused much personal suffering and strife in the making and breaking of his romances, while at the same time, garnering him much respect and admiration. Hockney has truly made art a form of real human interaction and communication.