Art 212, Broadway(Storefront/Forefront), September 2016 -February 2017
In the 1970s David Hockney, a British artist primarily known as a painter, became fascinated with Photography and gave up painting for a decade or so while he experimented with photographic techniques. During this time he developed groundbreaking methods of photographic collage. Hockney explored using the camera to collect fragments of scene, that could then be pieced together. He was interested in splitting up an image in time and space, getting away from capturing only a moment, and trying to capture a collection of moments, a sequence of time, analogous to perhaps a scene in a film.
Because the photographs were taken from different perspectives and at slightly different times, the result is imagery that has an affinity with Cubism, a painting style developed and favored by Picasso and George Braque in the early 20th century, 1910’s and 20’s. Fascinated by Cubism’s investigation of multiple perspective Hockney’s major aim was to explore this through photography. As He saw it there was a relationship between cubism and the way human vision works, in that we see things simultaneously in multiple perspectives and in pieces. We see multiple viewpoints that are then pieced together by our mind.
Seeking to replicate the way we see through photography Hockney began these photo collages, which he called “joiners”, working with different subjects from portraits to still life, and from representational to abstract styles. He did this because he was interested in how we see and depict space and time. He is interested in how we turn a 3 dimensional world into a 2 dimensional image. Upon looking at the final compositions of these “joiners”, he realized it created a narrative, as if the viewer was moving through the room. These images layer time and space, the multiple angles convey a strong sense of movement. 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. About his collage technique, Hockney said: “I realized that this sort of picture came closer to how we actually see, which is to say, not all-at-once but rather in discrete, separate glimpses which we then build up into our continuous experience of the world.”
In Art 212 we appropriated Hockney’s method and created a homage to his photographic collage technique.