Things that Make You Go Hmmm…John Coolidge in CULTURED Magazine

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I was flipping through a copy of Cultured Magazine at work, and I paused at this page. I’m really not the demographic for this slick publication, and I don’t know anything about photographer-turned potter John Coolidge and his partner, “painter and creative director” David Burgoyne. But the photo of these two, by Coolidge, caught my eye.

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Here’s a closer look. The text mentions that they’ve “taken family self-portraits that pay homage to David Hockney.”



The article doesn’t mention any specific inspirations, but here’s David Hockney’s Mr. and Mrs. Clark and Percy, 1970-71 (Tate, London). It’s a portrait of fashion designers Celia Birtwell and Ossie Clark, cultural icons of the Swinging Sixties.  Coolidge and Burgoyne have not only posed themselves just like the Clarks, they’ve matched the composition note for note.


I’ve always thought that Hockney’s portrait of the Clarks must be looking back even further, also as an homage — to Matisse’s great Conversation of 1908-12 (Hermitage, St. Petersburg).

There really is nothing new under the sun (or inside the window).


4 thoughts on “Things that Make You Go Hmmm…John Coolidge in CULTURED Magazine

  1. I enjoy your blog and this post made me think of something I’ve become interested in. I was wondering if you could recommend a book or books on English painters of the twentieth century–only if it’s not any trouble, don’t want to bother you if you’re having a busy week.

  2. This is one of those times when I wish for the “Like” button: I do not have anything to add to what you wrote but I enjoyed your article. I like this types of parallels. I bet less than 1% of the original article’s readers knew or tried to look for the specific painting.

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