AS one of Bradford’s most famous sons it was entirely fitting that the city should celebrate David Hockney’s 80th birthday – and his 60th year working as an artist – in fine style.

On Friday a dedicated gallery about his life and work opened at Cartwright Hall, the public collection that inspired Hockney as a child and student.

The gallery, which contains works spanning Hockney’s career and previously unseen photos from his personal albums, is sure to be a huge attraction.

Then on Saturday a huge portrait of the artist – 16ft high and weighing almost three-quarters of a tonne – installed on the side of a building in Little Germany, was revealed by artist Marcus Levine.

The Bingley-based virtuoso started to plan the impressive piece almost 18 months ago and its creation took him more than a year.

Finally yesterday the city held its own birthday celebrations for the man voted Britain’s greatest living artist in Lister Park.

Hockney honed his talent in Bradford, painting on the streets using art materials carrying in a battered old pram.

Some of those early works are now part of the Cartwright Hall exhibition where hopefully they will help inspire a new generation of artists from West Yorkshire.

Certainly the gallery looks set to be a massive success if Hockney’s exhibitions at the Tate and the Royal Academy, which opened to record-breaking crowds in recent years, are anything to go by.

The T&A would like to offer our congratula-tions to David Hockney – and wish him many more happy birthdays in the future.