DAVID HOCKNEY

David Hockney, CH, RA, (born 9 July 1937) is an English painter, draughtsman, printmaker, stage designer and photographer, who is based in Bridlington, Yorkshire, although he also maintains a base in London. An important contributor to the Pop art movement of the 1960s, he is considered one of the most influential British artists of the twentieth century. David Hockney, best known for his paintings, did some work with photographs he called "joiners". "Joiners" is a method of taking many photographs, or the individual parts, of a subject and piecing the prints together to recreate the scene or person. Our goal is to find an interesting landscape; someplace that has alot of character and says something about ourself through what is shown.

DAVID HOCKNEY
"It takes time to see these pictures - you can look at them for a long time, they invite that sort of looking. But more importantly, I realize that this sort of picture came closer to how we actually see, which is to say, not all-at-once but rather in discrete, separated glimpses which we then build up into our continuous experience of the world." - David Hockney

HOCKNEY AND CUBISM
According to Cubism·s principles, Hockney·s works introduce three artistic elements which a single photograph cannot have, namely layered time, space and narrative. The first two of these are central Cubist themes. Hockney points out that a single photo expresses a single instant, and so cannot represent time or narrative: ´Cubism was total-vision: it was about two eyes and the way we see things. Photography had the flaw of being one-eyed« My joke was that all ordinary photographs are taken by a one-eyed frozen man!µ«µMost photographers think that the rules of perspective are built into the very nature of photography, that it is not possible to change it at all. For me, it was a long process realizing that this does not have to be the case.µ

MOTHER I. 1985

DAVID GRAVES PEMBROKE STUDIOS

DAVID HOCKNEY, 'SCRABBLE, HOLLYWOOD, 1 JANUARY 1983', C-TYPE COLOUR PHOTOGRAPHS. MUSEUM NO. PH.1-1983

CUBISM
As well as narrative, there is layered time, this is similar to narrative, but a bit subtler. A good example of layered time is in Gregory and Shinro (1982), which depicts two friends chatting. Since the friends are continually moving and talking, and there is a space of time between each photo, the whole conversation is present in the joiner, but it is presented at once rather than sequentially (as in a film). This gives rise to a very interesting effect.

Finally, there is the spatial aspect to Hockney·s joiners, which ties in to Hockney·s feelings about the objectivity of the image. He firmly believed that there was no such thing as objective vision, too much subjectivity is impressed upon any image by the viewer. He explores this theme in Pearblossom Highway (1986), in which the left side of the picture consists of scenic elements, and the right side consists of road elements, corresponding to the fact that the passenger seat is on the left and the passenger enjoys the view, and the driving seat is on the right and the driver looks at signs, etc.

When making his photocollage of Pearblossom Highway, David Hockney positioned himself closer to or more distant from his subjects, choosing which elements in the scene should be large and which should be small. By reassembling views from multiple perspectives, he applied ideas borrowed from Cubist painting to produce a rich, compound image that he considers ´a panoramic assault on Renaissance one-point perspective.µ

Another example of the subjectivity is his use of reverse perspective. A good example is The Desk (1984) which consists of a desk in reverse perspective (reverse perspective means that things get smaller as they get closer, one of the interesting aspects of reverse perspective is that it enables you to see 3 sides of a cube, which is very useful to Hockney. The use of reverse perspective ² which is surprising to a Westerner ² is in fact very old, many pre-Renaissance and Japanese paintings have reverse perspective, as it allows you to see more of a scene).