"There are many aspects of the subjects which I paint pictures about that would lose their meanings if they were too specifically presented, and that's why I am forced into metaphor. That's one reason, but others are the nature of my language and the nature of the pictorial object I end up with. I'm forced into the use of metaphors, because, if you particularise too much, especially about private emotions, they would remain in the painting. In fact, the more I think about this, my pictures are totally metaphorical, but in a way that is of necessity rather than by design." (Howard Hodgkin as quoted in Exh. cat. The Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, Howard Hodgkin: Forty Paintings: 1973-84, 1984).