David Hockney, A Bigger Splash, 1967
This has to be one of my favourite pieces of British art. A Bigger Splash was painted whilst Hockney was staying in California between 1964 to 1968. He regularly visited The Golden State, eventually moving to Los Angeles permanently in 1976. Hockney painted several works based on the subject of swimming pool splashes, whilst in California, though this is his most famous. What I love most about A Bigger Splash is the idea of a human presence that cannot actually be seen by the viewer. We know someone is there because of the splash, and yet they are now completely hidden by the pool water. It creates an almost eerie atmosphere for the painting’s viewer. And because a painting is effectively a frozen moment, we have no real idea what happens after the splash.