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'Self-Portrait with Charlie' (David Hockney; Charles Dare Scheips)

© David Hockney, Collection National Portrait Gallery, London

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'Self-Portrait with Charlie' (David Hockney; Charles Dare Scheips)

by David Hockney
oil on canvas, 2005
72 in. x 36 in. (1829 mm x 914 mm)
Purchased with help from the proceeds of the 150th anniversary gala and Gift Aid visitor ticket donations, 2007
Primary Collection
NPG 6819

Sittersback to top

  • David Hockney (1937-), Artist. Sitter in 49 portraits, Artist or producer associated with 14 portraits.
  • Charles Dare Scheips (1959-), Curator and writer. Sitter in 1 portrait.

Artistback to top

  • David Hockney (1937-), Artist. Artist or producer associated with 14 portraits, Sitter in 49 portraits.

This portraitback to top

This work is one of a series of large-scale single and double figure paintings made by the artist in his Hollywood Hills studio in 2005, all of which were completed in just a few sittings. Hockney worked directly onto the canvas in oils, without photographic reference or preparatory drawings. The work sets up a triangular exchange of gazes between the viewer, the artist and the model, friend and New York-based curator, Charlie Scheips.

Linked publicationsback to top

  • 100 Portraits, p. 148
  • Cooper, John, A Guide to the National Portrait Gallery, 2009, p. 63 Read entry

    A self-portrait by one of Britain’s and the world’s leading figurative artists, with echoes of Velázquez’s Las Meninas. ‘Charlie’ is Charlie Scheips, an old friend and former assistant of the artist.

  • Howgate, Sarah; Nairne, Sandy, A Guide to Contemporary Portraits, 2009, p. 20 Read entry

    David Hockney has increasingly turned to the subject of self-portraiture. This work is one of a series of large-scale single and double figure paintings made by the artist in his Hollywood Hills studio in 2005. All the portraits were completed in just a few sittings. Using oil paints, he worked directly on to the canvas, without photographic reference or preparatory drawing. In this self-portrait, Hockney explores his fascination with mirrors and the theme of the artist and model. The painting presents a triangular exchange of gazes between the artist, the model and ultimately the viewer. The model observing the painting unfold is Hockney’s friend and former studio manager, the New York-based curator, Charlie Scheips.

  • Howgate, Sarah; Stern Shapiro, Barbara; Glazebrook; Mark; White, Edmund; Livingstone, Marco, David Hockney Portraits, 2006 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 12 October 2006 to 21 January 2007), p. 208
  • Ribeiro, Aileen; Blackman, Cally, A Portrait of Fashion: Six Centuries of Dress at the National Portrait Gallery, 2015, p. 271
  • Various contributors, National Portrait Gallery: A Portrait of Britain, 2014, p. 275 Read entry

    David Hockney was a leading figure in the pop art movement, before moving in late 1963 to California, where he found fresh inspiration, the swimming pool becoming a motif. In the 1970s Hockney also designed for the stage, his productions including The Rake’s Progress (1975) and The Magic Flute (1978) being performed at Glyndebourne and the New York Metropolitan Opera House. In the late 1990s he began researching artists’ use of mirrors and lenses through the centuries, publishing his discoveries in Secret Knowledge (2001). A series of portraits made with the aid of the camera lucida followed.

    In recent years, Hockney has divided his time between California, London and East Yorkshire, and his projects have included A Bigger Picture (2012), a Royal Academy exhibition incorporating work executed using the Brushes iPad application.

    This self-portrait is one of a series of almost life-size figure paintings made in Hockney’s Hollywood Hills studio in 2005, all completed from life in just a few sittings and shown at the Gallery in 2006. Hockney worked directly onto the canvas in oils, without photographic reference or preparatory drawings. The work sets up a triangular exchange of gazes between the viewer, the artist and the seated figure – New York-based curator Charlie Scheips.

Placesback to top

  • Place made: United States (artist's studio, Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles, USA)

Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top

Events of 2005back to top

Current affairs

London suffers its worst bomb attack since the Second World War when four devices are detonated during rush hour on public transport. Three of the bombs went off on tube trains, and one on a bus killing 56 people and injuring 700. A Leeds-based terror cell of British born or raised Islamic extremists committed the attacks.
John Sentamu becomes the first black Archbishop of the Church of England.

Art and science

As part of the international Make Poverty History campaign, ten Live 8 concerts are held simultaneously around the world to coincide with the meeting of the G8 and persuade the world's richest countries to 'drop the debt' owed by the world's poorest countries, increase aid to the world's poorest people and negotiate fairer international trade rules.


1,836 die in America as a result of Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent flooding. The hurricane was the most costly in US history and one of the most deadly. It caused the levees of Lake Pontchartrain to break, which flooded 80% of New Orleans. About one million people evacuated the city while 25,000 stayed behind, many taking refuge in the city's Superdome.

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