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British police probe death of artist David Hockney's assistant

Police said the 23-year-old died in mysterious circumstances but that there were no signs of violence.

File photo of British artist David Hockney.
File photo of British artist David Hockney.
Image: John Stillwell/PA Wire

A YOUNG MAN who was at the home of world-renowned British artist David Hockney has died in mysterious circumstances, police said today.

Officers are investigating events leading up to the death of the 23-year-old – identified by media as Dominic Elliott, an assistant and close friend of the painter – over the weekend.

The man was taken to hospital from Hockney’s home in the seaside town of Bridlington in northeast England early yesterday morning.

It is unclear whether he died in hospital or at the artist’s place.

A general view of David Hockney’s house in Bridlington, East Yorkshire (Amy Murphy/PA Wire).

“The circumstances of the man’s death are not clear and officers are currently undertaking enquiries to establish events leading to his death,” a spokeswoman for Humberside Police said.

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

The man was taken to Scarborough General Hospital, 30 kilometres from Bridlington, at around 6am yesterday morning.

Hockney, 75, reportedly recruited Elliot to help with a series of works depicting Bridlington. The artist painted a portrait of Elliott in his trademark bold style in 2008.

Hockney is best known for his sunshine-drenched paintings of California, where he has lived on and off for the past three decades.

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But in recent years he has turned to the scenery of his native Yorkshire for inspiration.

More than 600,000 people went to see a major exhibition of his giant, vivid Yorkshire landscapes at London’s Royal Academy of Arts last year.

- © AFP 2013.

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