Brenda Zlamany
An oil portrait of an old white man sitting at a table with a flourishing garden at his back.

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Portrait #138 (David Hockney)
Collection of the artist

For many years, Brenda Zlamany has painted portraits of other artists, including Chuck Close, Alex Katz, and David Hockney. She has also been a subject for them; as she puts it, “we are professional posers.” Recently, however, she has worked to paint portraits of those whose gaze is more internal—monks and nomads in Tibet, aboriginal people in Taiwan—creating large bodies of portraits that investigate the limits of the genre. She returned, with her daughter, to Hockney’s studio in 2014, not only to sit for him but to paint him once again. Her practice involves the long sittings and intense looking required of traditional portrait-making. The result captures Hockney’s warmth as well as his intense gaze, surrounded by the energetic foliage of his Los Angeles home.