Drawing with a camera
He combined dozens of successive Polaroid photographs, taken from varying angles, to create a complete image, or what he described as ‘joiners’. Making some 140 Polaroid works in a matter of months, these multi-frame images allowed Hockney to experiment with depictions of time, motion and the position of the viewer.
In Billy + Audrey Wilder, Los Angeles, April 1982 1982, we’re able to trace Audrey moving her cigarette towards her face and Billy bringing a small sculpture towards his eyes. Each individual Polaroid is taken separately but experienced simultaneously, creating a dizzying effect and ‘not the view you would see immediately’. This presentation of a subject from multiple viewpoints exemplifies Hockney’s interest in depicting a three-dimensional world through two-dimensional art forms. As the artist describes:
I was at the camera day and night […] the joiners were much closer to the way we actually look at things, closer to the truth of experience
David Hockney exhibition at Tate Britain 9 February – 29 May 2017