Hockney formed his first impressions of Los Angeles from books and magazines he read before he visited the city. While still in London he painted an invented shower scene, Domestic Scene, Los Angeles, 1963 (private collection), which included an image of two men taken from the homoerotic American magazine Physique Pictorial. The magazine, to which Hockney frequently referred for images, published photographs of men in various contrived poses, shot in supposed domestic interiors.
When Hockney went to Los Angeles six months later, he was particularly fascinated by the use of water for irrigation and recreation in the semi-arid environment. He delighted in experimenting with various methods of depicting drops and sprays of water, attracted by the 'idea of painting moving water in a very slow and careful manner' (Stangos, p.99)… (read more)