Eager for exotic and romanticist sensations, he gets a mission from Sunday Times magazine for a trip to Egypt in 1963. Subjugated by local solutions to the problem of water, he painted on his return Great Pyramid at Giza with Broken Head from Thebes where the foreground is invaded by a water pipe. This 183 x 183 cm oil on canvas was sold for £ 3.5M including premium by Christie's on February 13, 2013.
Until 1967 the homosexual act will remain a crime in the United Kingdom. To become a leader in gay art, Hockney prefers to leave. In 1964 he arrives in New York where he gets imbued with pop art. In Los Angeles he is enchanted by the atmosphere of freedom, the apparent ease of life, and the tanned bodies of young men almost naked at the pool and on the beach.
On March 7 in London, Sotheby's sells an acrylic on canvas 183 x 152 cm painted in 1965 whose title is quite a didactic program : Different kinds of water pouring into a swimming pool, Santa Monica. As in the Pyramids the pipe has the main role in this naive composition without people. Its water flows down to the floor of the pool. In the distance a row of trees benefits from the irrigation. This artwork is estimated £ 6M, lot 26.
Shortly afterward the idyllic swimming pools under the Californian sun become the main theme of his art, with now the realism required for the contemplation of men.