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Police investigate death of British artist David Hockney’s assistant

A May 25, 2007, file photo of British artist David Hockney as he poses as he unveils his painting Bigger Trees Near Water, the largest painting ever shown at the Royal Academy's Summer Exhibition, London. A young assistant to David Hockney has died after being taken to a hospital from the artist's house. Dominic Elliott, 23, was taken to Scarborough General Hospital, near Hockney's home in northeastern England, Sunday March 17, 2013.


British police are investigating the death of a 23-year-old man who spent the evening at the home of renowned artist David Hockney, local media reported on Monday.

Sky News identified the man as Dominic Elliott and said he was Hockney's assistant.

A spokeswoman for Humberside police in the north of England would not confirm the man's identity or whether he had spent the night at Hockney's house. No one was immediately available to comment for Hockney or to confirm where he was on Sunday night.

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A police statement said a 23-year-old man from Hockney's hometown of Bridlington died at Scarborough General Hospital after being taken there in serious condition at around 6 a.m. on Monday by a friend.

"The circumstances of the man's death are not clear and officers are currently undertaking inquiries to establish events leading to his death," it said. "There were no signs of violence and a postmortem examination is due to take place tomorrow."

British media said Elliott was part of a team employed by the artist to set up equipment and prepare for exhibitions.

Hockney, 75, famous for his colourful landscapes and portraits, is one of Britain's most influential living artists who was an important contributor to British pop art.

He was born in the northern city of Bradford in 1937 and spent decades in the United States. But he now lives in the seaside town of Bridlington and has spent the last few years painting the landscapes of the East Yorkshire Wolds.

A major show of Hockney's landscapes at the Royal Academy last year, titled, A Bigger Picture, attracted more than 600,000 people.

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