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This painting shows a meeting between three friends, all British painters: Howard Hodgkin (left), Peter Blake (middle) and David Hockney (right). It was painted after Blake and Hodgkin stayed with Hockney in Los Angeles in 1979.

The scene is an ironic re-working of Gustave Courbet's painting The Meeting or ‘Bonjour Monsieur Courbet’ (illustrated to the left) which shows the artist greeting two friends. Blake relocates this country encounter to the urban setting of Venice Beach, California. Unlike his more formally dressed visitors from Britain, Hockney is in his element, casually dressed among the billboards, palm trees and beautiful roller-skaters.

September 2004