My Parents

© David Hockney. Image credit: Tate

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Hockney completed this work after two failed attempts at painting his parents, Kenneth and Laura Hockney. They were frustrated when Hockney gave up on previous versions, having spent hours posing for him. However, speaking about their reaction to 'My Parents', Hockney's sister Margaret said, 'Mum and Dad were very proud of it, and felt all the sittings had been worthwhile,'. Kenneth and Laura’s poses may reflect their personalities. Laura is gazing directly at the viewer. Kenneth, known for fidgeting during sittings, is shown reading, as though he has forgotten he is being observed.

Tate Britain



My Parents




oil on canvas


H 182.9 x W 182.9 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Purchased 1981

Work type


Tate Britain

Millbank, London, Greater London SW1P 4RG England

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