Dominic Elliott: David Hockney"s assistant dies after being taken from renowned artist"s home

David Hockney's close friend and assistant, 23, dies in hospital after falling ill at artist's houseHis assistant Dominic Elliott was taken to Scarborough Hospital yesterdayMr Elliott helped the renowned artist to set up equipment for his projects
Hockney, of Bridlington, East Yorks, is one of Britain's best-known painters

By
Suzannah Hills and Mark Duell

PUBLISHED:

08:42 GMT, 18 March 2013

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UPDATED:

10:59 GMT, 18 March 2013

David Hockney's personal assistant has died after being taken ill at the renowned British artist's seaside home.

Dominic Elliott, 23, was a close friend of the artist and helped him set up his equipment when he was working on his projects and exhibitions. Mr Hockney, 75, even painted a portrait of Mr Elliott in 2008.

Mr Elliott was taken to Scarborough Hospital in North Yorkshire at 6am yesterday from Mr Hockney's home in Bridlington, East Yorkshire, in a serious condition, before being pronounced dead.

David Hockney

Keen sportsman: Dominic Elliott, assistant of artist David Hockney, played rugby and hockey (pictured)

Friends: Renowned artist David Hockney (left) employed keen sportsman Dominic Elliott (right) as an assistant

House: Mr Elliott was taken from David Hockney's home (pictured today) in Bridlington, East Yorkshire

House: Mr Elliott was taken from David Hockney's home (pictured today) in Bridlington, East Yorkshire

Locals told how Mr Elliott played for Bridlington Rugby Club, and a statement on the club's website said: 'Bridlington Rugby Club would like to send their condolences to the family of Dom Elliott.

Pictured: David Hockney, 75, painted a portrait of his assistant Dominic Elliott, 23, in 2008

Pictured: David Hockney, 75, painted a portrait of his assistant Dominic Elliott, 23, in 2008

'He played for the club at both second team and first team level, he will be sadly missed by all the players and Club members.'

Police were contacted by the hospital after Mr Elliott was taken there by a friend and later died.

A Humberside Police spokesman said: 'The circumstances of the man's death are not clear and officers are currently undertaking enquiries to establish events leading to his death.

'There were no signs of violence and a post-mortem examination is due to take place tomorrow which is hoped may provide further information.'

Hockney is one of Britain's best-known artists after a decades-long career as a modern art pioneer.

His colourful paintings, often
showcasing the landscape of his native Yorkshire or his adopted home in
California, are loved by millions.

Talented: This 2004 painting Four Roads and Cornfields is a prime example of Hockney's much-loved artwork

Talented: This 2004 painting Four Roads and Cornfields is a prime example of Hockney's much-loved artwork

Hockney was the subject of a major exhibition at the Royal Academy in London last year with an exhibition of his large scale landscapes.

'The circumstances of the man's death are not clear and officers are currently undertaking enquiries to establish events leading to his death. There were no signs of violence'

Humberside Police

The Bradford-born artist is famous
for artworks such as A Bigger Splash, a vivid depiction of a Los Angeles
swimming pool, and the portrait Mr And Mrs Clark And Percy.

In recent years he has been exploring the possibilities of using an iPad for his artworks.

He has also courted controversy, as he was openly gay at a time when homosexuality was largely taboo. He met his partner John Fitzherbert, a professional chef, at a lunch in London 23 years ago.

Hockney is also known for his love of tobacco and his campaigning for the rights of smokers.