David Hockney – Photomontage

Whilst carrying out research for my task ‘ Greater than the whole’ I have been looking at the work of David Hockney.  Works created by Hockney between 1970 -1982, used the photo-montage technique, and which he referred to as “joiners”. They came about from Hockney’s dislike of the way wide angle lenses distorted the image and created a one eyed view of the world, with no sense of time or narrative.

He started using polaroid images and placing them directly side by side in a grid to compose the final scene. The work below illustrates the system he used.

Still Life Blue Guitar, 1982 composite Polaroid, 24 1/2 x 30 in.

The way in which he breaks down the whole image in to smaller pieces and then reassembles them to once again make the scene whole brings an added dimension to his work.  Hockney found that this images created a narrative that he could not capture using standard photography. An example of this is Place Fustenberg , Paris ,  August 7,8 & 9 1985. It is a composite image made up of several individual viewpoints, taken over a period of 3 days.

Place Fustenberg , Paris , August 7,8 & 9 1985

By moving around the the subject to take individual snapshots of the scene, Hockney as managed to create a sense of time. We can see the subtle changes in light over the 3 days and the slightly out of line joining that he has used create the image create a sense of movement and narrative unable to be portrayed in conventional photography.


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