Hockney was born in Yorkshire, England in 1937. He first came to public prominence in the early sixties, as a post-graduate student of painting at the Royal College of Art in London. He experimented with numerous styles and became one of the most important portraitists of his era, renowned for depictions of family and people he met in his extensive travels. His work demonstrates a wish to uphold the human figure as a fit subject of painting, as well as an interest in imagery drawn from the urban environment. Despite his shouting 'I am not a Pop artist' during a private view party in 1962, Hockney's student work is conventionally seen as contributing to the development of Pop Art in Britain. In 1963, he had his first solo show at the Kasmin Gallery in London.
In 1964, Hockney moved to Los Angeles. In that year a swimming pool first appeared in the seminal painting. Over the next several years, portraiture and photography primarily occupied the artist, and he developed an intimate and powerful naturalism in this period.