It helps to have a local hero. I was lucky enough to have David Hockney as mine. So with yesterday's news that next year the Tate Britain are organising the biggest retrospective of his work since his 1988 LACMA retrospective (he'll also be turning 80) it's as good a time as any to gush relentlessly about the brilliant, bright path he lit for me growing up gay and city-dysmorphic in Bradford.
Not that mutual gayness or the desire to live elsewhere were the first things that drew me to Hockney - they came later. Instead, it was all that colour: the joy and optimism of his turquoise pools, the vivid vases and flowers and the technicolour canyons all offering a counterpoint to some of the more sombre palettes of Yorkshire life: my brown school blazer, the blackened sandstone and the deep amber of real ale. Quite often in life, an aesthetic attraction can lead you down an ever-more profound path -- certainly the case with me and Hockney.