For the last few weeks I have been finding myself looking over and thinking about the photo collages of David Hockney.
Hockney first became known for a series of prints he did in the 60’s called A Rake’s Progess. He became even better known later for painting swimming pools, sub-urban landscapes and photo-realistic portraits. But it is his photography from the 80’s that I am most interested in. As usual, I am drawn toward cubist form.
“Almost all cubist pictures are about things close to us. They don’t jump off the wall at you. You have to go to them, and look, and look. The camera does not bring anything close to you; it’s only more of the same void that we see. This is also true of television, and the movies. Between you and the screen there’s a window, you’re simply looking through a window. Cubism is a much more involved form of vision. It’s a better way of depicting reality, and I think it’s a truer way. It’s harder for us to see because it seems to contradict what we believe to be true. People complain that when they see a portrait of Picasso where, for instance, somebody has three eyes! It’s much simpler than that. It’s not that the person had three eyes, it’s that one of the eyes was seen twice. This reads the same way in my photographs. The fact that people can read photographs in this way made me think we’ve been deceived by the single photograph—by this image of one split second, in one fixed spot. I now see this fault in all photographs, and I can tell when drawings or paintings have been made from photographs. You can sense when the picture is not felt through space.”
David Hockney quote from
Photography Speaks: 150 Photographers on Their Art