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Hockney painted this portrait of his friends, the fashion designer Ossie Clark and Celia Birtwell, shortly after their marriage. Hockney, who was best man at their wedding, took great pains over this composition and painted Ossie's head at least a dozen times. The couple modeled for the work on numerous occasions in Hockney's studio, although Ossie's pose was based on a snapshot taken one morning just after he had got out of bed, and before he had put on his shoes. Celia, a highly successful fabric designer in her own right, continued to act as Hockney's model and muse for many years.

August 2004