It was 1982. Survivor were number one with Eye of the Tiger, shoulder pads were taking the runways by storm and British artist David Hockney was deep into his exploration of cubism through the medium of photography. Using a Polaroid camera, he created ‘joiners’ — a series of giant pictures made up of square format instant snaps pieced together.
Closer to Life Itself
“The joiners were much closer to the way we actually look at things, closer to the truth of experience.” — David Hockney
To look at a frozen snapshot of a subject in isolation is to misrepresent the experience of really looking at something — the vitality of the moment and the eye’s sweeping glance across the situation. In stitching together images from a succession of individual photographs, Hockney created a subtle sense of movement that rippled throughout his collages. The viewer’s eye is guided along the series of images, encouraged to take in the details, acknowledge the three-dimensional realism of the situation and feel the energy of the moment as it happened. It’s art that is closer to life itself — and all thanks to the immediacy of instant images.
“By putting the separate perspectives there, the eye is forced to scan. Not everything can be seen at once.” — David Hockney
Each perfectly balanced square frame forms a measurable tile in Hockney's stunning mosaic, becoming a considered component of a cubist composition. Taking just seconds to develop, instant film mimics the art of sight itself — materializing in your hand like a memory imprinting itself on your brain. Practically, this allowed Hockney to position the snapshots immediately, in the presence of the subject, and reflect the authenticity of the moment.
Push the Boundaries
“Ordinary photography has one way of seeing only, which is fixed, as if there is kind of an objective reality, which simply cannot be.” — David Hockney
Abandon ordinary photography and search for something more — something louder, freer, bursting with energy and glowing with life. Throw caution to the wind and brave your boldest experiments. Beautiful things will happen.