Monday 11 January 2016

Frank O'Hara and David Hockney

Today, at the talk given by Martin Hammer (University of Kent) at the University of York as part of the research series, he related to a series of prints titled 'A Rake's Progress' made by David Hockney from 1961-3 during a visit to New York. The talk discussed Hockney's autobiographical experiences in New York, which coming from Britain, seemed like a glamorous city that was fuelled by aesthetics and desire. Hammer explained how Hockney was influenced by a spectrum of (homosexual) artists and poets in New York, including Frank O'Hara and Larry Rivers. In this context, I was introduced to the following poem by O'Hara, which I immediately responded to with affection:


Did you see me walking by the Buick Repairs?
I was thinking of you
having a Coke in the heat it was your face
I saw on the movie magazine, no it was Fabian's
I was thinking of you
and down at the railroad tracks where the station
has mysteriously disappeared
I was thinking of you
as the bus pulled away in the twilight
I was thinking of you
and right now

David Hockney. 8a. Bedlam. From 'A Rake's Progress', 1961-3. 

Poem source:

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