One of my friends was telling me about a recent Hockney show in London today. It reminded me of this forgotten story that I left behind a few years ago. I had taken a photograph of these 2 portraits in San Francisco. I was very intrigued by them immediately. Created six years apart and depicting the same subject, Hockney’s long time chief assistant, I found myself up late one night 2 years ago researching the subject. I wondered who was this man in the paintings and what happened to him that he changed so much? And then I learned about the tragedy that occurred at Hockney’s house where one of his other assistants died suddenly after drinking toilet cleaner and the chief assistant was asked to clear the man’s room of drugs by Hockney’s ex partner.
The space between the two portraits seems like these two bookmarks of a larger story, almost as if they are opening and closing shots of a film. I remember lying awake that night after I read that story asking myself, “what would be the first image and what would be the last?” and not being able to figure out the answer.
And then I fell asleep and forgot until today. But it’s good to have muses. They can be reminders to seek out those stories in between that you’ve slept away but maybe should have stayed awake for to struggle and tell.