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David Hockney as an investment opportunity: an analysis of his impressive market success

David Hockney, a leading figure in the contemporary art world, represents a remarkable convergence of artistic brilliance and investment potential. One of the most influential British artists, Hockney has revolutionised the art world through his involvement in the Pop Art movement and his ground-breaking digital artworks. His ability to transcend conventional boundaries and embrace new mediums–from his iconic swimming pool paintings to cutting-edge iPad drawings–has made him a fixture on the international art scene and a magnet for art investment.

In this article, we delve into the fascinating world of Hockney’s art, analyse his influence on the art market and shed light on why his works are not only artistic but also financial masterpieces. With a career spanning decades and continuous artistic innovation, David Hockney offers both art lovers and investors a unique opportunity to invest in a part of art history.

Artistic evolution and stylistic features

David Hockney’s journey as an artist has been characterised by constant evolution and a relentless drive for innovation. Since his early beginnings in the Pop Art scene, Hockney has constantly redefined the boundaries of traditional art forms. His works are a kaleidoscope of colour, form and perspective, leading the viewer into a world where the ordinary becomes extraordinary.

In the 1960s, Hockney rose to prominence with his vivid depictions of the Californian lifestyle, particularly his iconic swimming pool paintings. These paintings, characterised by vibrant colours and fluid forms, demonstrate Hockney’s ability to capture emotion and atmosphere while reflecting the Pop Art aesthetic.

Hockney’s style continued to evolve as he experimented with different mediums and techniques, including photography, in the 1970s and 1980s. He also explored the world of set design, which deepened his interest in perspective and spatial modelling. This phase was also characterised by his intense exploration of portraiture, immortalising both friends and strangers in intimate but revelatory works.

Art meets technology: Hockney and the digital medium

“I love new mediums”

– (David Hockney, 1980)

A turning point in Hockney’s career was his move towards the digital medium. With the introduction of the iPad in 2010, he began to push the boundaries of digital art. These digital drawings, often inspired by landscapes, from his garden in Yorkshire to the sweeping vistas of Yosemite, showed his undiminished ability to reinterpret colour and form. These works are recognised not only for their artistic quality but also for their role in introducing digital techniques to the art world.

The artist recently amazed people once again with a unique synthesis of art and technology: illustrated on an iPad, he created two digitally animated Christmas trees that illuminate the iconic 328-foot-high water towers of Battersea Power Station in London.

Hockney’s artistic evolution is a reflection of his constant search for new forms of expression. His ability to constantly reinvent himself while remaining true to his signature style makes him a unique figure in the world of contemporary art. For investors, his work represents a fascinating blend of historical significance and future-orientated innovation.

Market presence and investment value

David Hockney has achieved a remarkable position in the international art market as the most valuable pop artist from the UK. The Hockney market achieved a total turnover of an impressive 141 million euros in 2022, catapulting him to 14th place in Artprice’s Top 100 World Ranking. At the same time, according to the Artnet Intelligence Report Mid-Year Review 2023, he is considered the third-largest artist of the post-war period with an auction turnover of 64.7 million euros. His works are groundbreaking not only in artistic terms but also in terms of their investment value and market presence.

David Hockney – The Yosemite Suite No.16

Market Value: 9,5% above the drop price

Hockney’s series ‘The Yosemite Suite’ epitomises the fusion of art and technology.

It incorporates digital methods and is reminiscent of his famous paintings from the 1990s.

Unrivalled market position

David Hockney’s work is appealing to an ever wider audience and arousing international enthusiasm. A major touring retrospective that took place in 2017-2018 attracted over a million visitors – from the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Tate Modern in London to the Metropolitan Museum in New York. The same enthusiasm has also been reflected in the auction market: the sales rate of Hockney’s works at public auctions was at 86% by mid-2023, surpassing even the rate of deceased masters such as Andy Warhol (83% sales rate).

The market for David Hockney is currently experiencing a resurgence in popularity. This year, Phillips announced the launch of an annual David Hockney auction during its main London autumn sales–a strong sign of market faith by one of the largest and most prestigious auction houses. Phillips London’s David Hockney auction in September 2023 proved to be a resounding success, once again demonstrating the potential of the modern master: with a 100% sell-through rate, the auction achieved a total turnover of £1,378,600 (€1,599,176), with 55% of the 58 lots selling well above their estimates.

Hockney also holds the record for the second most expensive work ever sold at auction by a living artist: Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) realised a staggering 90.3 million US dollars at Christie’s in November 2018.

Bereits im Frühjahr 2023 zeigten sich Hockneys Kunstverkäufe besonders stark:

The results emphasise the extraordinary investment potential of this series and the prevailing market interest in Hockney’s iPad drawings, especially those with nature and landscape motifs.

Stable market development

Interestingly, the Hockney Price Index shows only a minimal decline of -0.2% in 2023, indicating an exceptionally stable market. This stability is particularly remarkable considering that 2022 was one of its best years in terms of annual auction turnover. Although prices have remained almost the same in 2023, only the volume has decreased, indicating sustained demand coupled with limited supply.

Hockney’s continuous innovation in a variety of mediums, particularly in printmaking, results in unique versatility and resilience. These qualities have enabled him to recover from market fluctuations and attract new groups of buyers, resulting in continued positive trends in his influential work. Demand for David Hockney’s work is increasing rapidly and his price index has risen by +515% since the beginning of the century. However, an exceptional market growth of +120% can also be seen over the last five years, accompanied by a +18% increase in transaction volume and a +87% increase in average selling price (ASP).


David Hockney is a name synonymous with artistic genius and enormous investment potential. He has established himself as a shining star in the realm of contemporary art. Hockney’s career has been characterised by constant evolution and the Hockney market continues to impress today with steadily growing demand and outstanding stability.

Given these facts, it is clear that an investment in the work of David Hockney not only offers the opportunity to become part of the history of this visionary artist but also the potential for a valuable and profitable addition to any portfolio.

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