My David Hockney original

January 26, 2012

Many years ago *cough* when I was a teenager I had a Saturday job in WHSmith in Kensington.

Leaving aside The Time I Couldn’t Go To Live Aid Because I Was Working, it was quite an enjoyable job. If we were quiet I’d spend a lot of my time browsing the books, particularly the art books.

Because of the location, we used to get quite a few famous people coming in the store. The late great Frankie Howerd was a regular, plus various other minor celebs.

One day I noticed a man wearing a cord jacket with blondish hair and round glasses browsing the books. I recognised him instantly: David Hockney.

I knew that I would never forgive myself if I didn’t speak to him. So with typical schoolgirl chutzpah, when he was writing a cheque to pay for the books he was buying, I said: ‘If I buy a copy of your book, will you sign it for me?’

‘OK,’ he said in that familiar voice, looking a bit surprised.

And that’s exactly what happened. He even wrote my name, bless him. The book cost £18 – probably my whole day’s wages – but I have a little piece of David Hockney to keep always. Worth every penny.

My mum took my niece to see his exhibition at the Royal Academy on Sunday – and she was thrilled to see the book with his signature in. I’ll give her the book one day.

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  • Him Up North January 26, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    Wow, that’s pretty cool. You should come to Saltaire and see his stuff in the Salt’s Mill gallery. Hockney in Hockney country.

  • Emma Lee-Potter January 26, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    Lovely post. I’m going to the RA exhibition with my daughter and can’t wait to see it!

  • Cara January 26, 2012 at 8:39 am

    What a lovely story. I’ve always loved DH’s style, ever since seeing one of his swimming pool paintings in a gallery when I was a teenager. I loved the piece on Countryfile a few weeks ago about the exhibition. I’m hoping I can take my children to see it.