Myself and My Heroes

While at the Royal College of Art in London, Hockney turned to etching for pragmatic reasons. Students were responsible for purchasing their own supplies and Hockney had quickly run out of money thanks to his enthusiasm for painting, so he took advantage of the college’s free printmaking materials. His first etching, Myself and My Heroes, embraces several of his passions at the time: the homoerotic poetry of Walt Whitman and the pacifism and vegetarianism of Mahatma Gandhi.

David Hockney
Myself and My Heroes, 1961
Etching in black with aquatint
Victoria and Albert Museum, London
The David Hockney Foundation
© David Hockney
Photography by Richard Schmidt