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‘This is as close to Pop Art as I ever came,’ Hockney later said, ‘but I didn’t use it because I was interested in the design of the packet or anything, it was just that it was a very common design.’ Made while Hockney was still a student at the Royal College of Art, its very English subject might be seen as an ironic comment on the prevalent fascination with American imports. His specially constructed ‘illusionistic’ canvas was intended to allow him to ‘ignore the concept of illusionistic space and paint merrily in a flat style’.

September 2016