Exhibits & Lectures »

08/22/2016 – 7:09 pm |

More specifically, the importance of clothing in Elizabethan and Jacobean portraits. Taught by Professor Maria Hayward, this lecture explores the clothing shown in nine portraits. Professor Maria Hayward teaches Early Modern History at the University …

Read the full story »
Exhibits & Lectures

hear who’s talking, see who’s showing


thoughts and research around projects

Best Of

the best of student work in digital imaging


A public discussion about design issues

In the News

design news, competitions, things you should know

Home » Projects


Submitted by on 09/07/2016 – 1:36 pm 36 Comments

What is photocubism and what is it trying to achieve? What is David Hockney trying to achieve through his joiners? Please share links to examples.


  • Emily says:

    Inspired by one of the most influential art styles, Cubism, David Hockney applied this method to the medium of photography, and thus created Photocubism.
    In the early 1980’s, Hockney produced photo collages which he called “joiners”. He would take Polaroids and photo prints of a single subject from different perspectives and times, and then combine them into one image, so that it looked like multiple, rectangular images layered on top of one another. His creation of “joiners” was accidental. Hockney realized the compositions produced narratives and he then began to work more with this method and photography, eventually making a new style of photography, Photocubism.

  • Heather Rahl says:

    David Hockney was inspired by Picasso and his style of art, cubism. In cubism, the viewer experiences multiple perspectives of the same object/objects. This allows the viewer to get a bigger, better idea of what the piece is trying to convey. Likewise, photocubism uses photography and combines pictures of varying detail in order to create a bigger picture. Hockney called these creations “joiners”–his way of making a more fluid version of an otherwise frozen photograph.



  • Kellie says:

    Photocubism is a modern version of cubism thought of by artist David Hockney. It involves multiple photographs of the same object or scene that are taken at different times and all pieced together to form a single image. This way, the photo can show an important element that Hockney felt was missing from normal photography: time. Instead of one single moment in time, photocubism allows one to show the progress of time in one image. Hockney calls these images that he created joiners. They are images that join many moments of time and space in order to make the viewer feel as though the image is not just a split second representation, but rather a representation of many seconds and movements.
    In some joiners, he may take multiple pictures of a scene at different times of the day so that light and shadows play a role in his photo. He may also photograph the scene from different angles and positions to achieve various shadows and light sources. In a joiner of a human subject, he may photograph them making slight movements such as turning a page in a book to capture the movement of a person in a shorter amount of time.
    The important thing to keep in mind when creating a joiner is to not worry about making all the pictures line up exactly. The slight disorganization and jagged scene is what gives the photo movement; without it, it would just be a photo with some discoloration.

  • Erin D. says:

    Photo cubism, started by David Hockney, used photos, taken at different angles, to make a complete image. Hockney would take a dozen or sometimes a thousand different photos of a space and later combine the image to give a skewed perception of reality. He called these joiners. He believed these joiners to give the viewer a much more realistic view of space and time than a two dimensional image. In a sense, the viewer is getting a three dimensional experience on a two dimensional space. Hockney’s ‘joiner’s’ are much accredited to the cubist movement. Hockney looked to the great cubists artists (Picasso, Braque, Cezanne) to give himself a break from traditional realist paintings. Similar to the cubists artist, joiners showed multiple perspectives that created a cube like image. Overall, Hockney’s art gave views a sense of movement in a still image.



  • Julia says:

    Photocubism serves as an intriguing art form to study how we see space and time. It presents a different view on perspective and space in a piece to give it a sense of liveliness. David Hockney wished to depict more than a single photograph could display, so he made a multiple photographic portrait called a “joiner” to show how a specific location or person acts instead of a freeze frame. By layering selected photographs he focused on line and form to depict an area that made the human brain work to connect the images and see the “moving” or active picture. His “joiners” show perspective from a different angle in a series of pictures.

    Here is a link to his work: http://www.hockneypictures.com/photos/photos_polaroids.php

  • Aubrey K. says:

    The techniques, photo cubism and “joiners”, are both inspired by and resemblant of cubism, and the famous artist, Picasso. Photo cubism is essentially the replacement of traditional cubist art mediums with photographs. Like the original style, photo cubism works with multiple viewpoints to convey a single subject.

    A “joiner” is a photographic technique created by David Hockney in the 1980’s by overlapping several photos to build a single image. These photographs are taken at different angles at slightly different times, making the finished piece resemblant of cubism.

    David Hockney’s website provides examples for both techniques!


    • Aubrey K. says:

      Both techniques work to expand on our view of space, and provide more information and perspective than any traditional art and/or painting would allow.

  • Matthew B. says:

    Photocubism sprung out of the established technique, cubism, that was invented by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. The cubists hoped to reject the three-dimensional illusion that had been the primary goal of classical painting techniques. Instead they emphasized the two-dimensionality of the canvas by breaking three-dimensional forms down into raw two-dimensional shapes. Real perspective and depth were entirely cast aside, leading to radically new compositions that often featured skewed perspective and a relief-like flatness. This allowed for more advanced study of forms by looking at them from all angles at once. Works such as these allowed for expansion into new media such as paper collage.

    Hockney adopted this principle of cubism and adapted it to the contemporary medium of home photography. Using first polariod photographs, and later 35 mm color film, Hockney used multiple still views of an object placed in conjunction with one another to create a “joiner.” These works featured multiple angles of perspective and different viewpoints of a single object, like cubism, but did this with photographs instead of traditional mediums. The name “joiners” comes simply from the compositions being photographs joined together to create a single image.

    The best resource for accurate images of Hockney’s works is his website



  • Sarah says:

    Photocubism, similar to the famous style of Cubism created by Picasso, is a style of art created by David Hockney as he created his famous joiners. Joiners are a series of photographs, sometimes overlapped, sometimes in a grid of polaroids, that showed a narrative of a scene, from multiple perspectives. In the video on Hockney that was in our class reserves, Hockney talked about how he began to develop an interest in perspective and changing it in his work. He demonstrates this warping of perspective in his joiners by giving several perspectives at once, or in one of his most famous joiners, Pearlblossom Drive, it looks as if its from one single perspective, but Hockney actually shot every single photograph from a different perspective.

    These links are the best ones I could find to examples of Hockneys joiners and they gave a lot of good insight about it.




  • Samantha W. says:

    Photocubism was created by David Hockney in effort to fill a void left by traditional photography. His inspiration for this innovative style stemmed from cubism, the method of painting that both Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque established. Unlike drawings and paintings, David felt that photographs lacked a certain dimensionality, because the camera could only capture a mere second of an event/subject. In order to solve this dilemma, Hockney began collaging photographs taken from his home, concentrating on certain areas and ignoring others, just as an traditional artist would do. He discovered that the essence of the subject was captured, just like a painting, when he arranged the images by the same principles of line and form. Overall, his collages allowed the viewer to develop a better sense of space and time, than standard photography.

  • Emerson says:

    Photo cubism is the composition of various viewpoints to form a larger image of photographs. British artist David Hockney discovered this art form in terms of photography while photographing his home and studio and composing the printed photos in a way that put the lines and objects together in the most realistic way possible. He called this art form a “Joiner,” with the objective to give the viewer an exceptional sense of space.

    Examples of Hockney’s Joiners can be found on his website: http://dangerousminds.net/comments/david_hockneys_cubist_photography

  • Sasha C. says:

    David Hockney created the art form Photocubism, which is the utilization of “joiners” in multiple photographs of one particular area to create an photographic image that gives more life and detail of the specific area than one single photograph of that same area. Hockney realized that photographs have one major flaw, and that is the lack of life and knowledge of the environment of the photograph other than the half second still shot that was taken. You don’t see what that place is like at night if it’s a daytime photograph, and vice versa. You don’t see how the wind might move the leaves and the branches if the photograph is of a tree. Photocubism solves this flaw by taking multiple photos at many angles, times of day, and under various conditions in order to envelope the entire experience into one carefully stitched together photocubic image. Hockney is trying to bring the entire experience into one image through his joiners.

    Some examples:

  • Abby Redus says:

    Photocubism is the technique of combing many pictures to form one by either putting them into a grid format or into a collage, both inspired by cubism. This style is trying to capture more than just a single photograph can of an object or scene. It can provide different perspectives, angles, times, expressions, and overall give more life into a piece than one photograph could ever give. David Hockney is trying to not only do what was previously stated but also let the viewer be a character in his work using certain angles and interactions. He also stated that he wanted to give a photo more life, making it a dynamic scene instead of stationary.



  • Marcus says:

    Photocubism is joining photographs from the same perspective to create a narrative or a new perspective. Elements of dissimilarity or multiple perspectives are common in this genre.

    David Hockney was attempting to create a new scene and narratives with his joiners, as he did not like the wide-angle lens that other photographers were using at the time. The use of them would cause the photos to appear distorted and he did not care for this effect. Hockney felt that his joiners were more akin to human vision.

    ‘Pearblossom Highway, 11th to 18th April 1986 No.2’

    ‘Mother I, Yorkshire Moors, August 1985 No.1’

  • Rj J. says:

    David Hockney uses the art style, Cubism by Picasso, to manifest his own called Photocubism. This style pertains multiple photographs that share the same subject or scene but instead takes place at distinct moments of time, which is what Hockney thought photography was lacking, thus Photocubism presents the progression of time in one image (also known as Joiners).

    Examples of Joiners:


  • Nicole says:

    Simply put, David Hockney’s “joiners” are a type of photo collage. However, they are unlike normal photo collages in that they use photographs of a single subject all taken at slightly different times and perspectives. Making collages in this way makes joiners relate to Cubism, which then creates a style called Photocubism. Hockney felt this Photocubism was what normal photographs lacked, a progression which helped create a narrative, which is was joiners portray.

    Here are some examples:




  • Jenna S. says:

    David Hockney is an artist who felt that cubism works, such as Picasso’s style, were not a thing of the past. He was interested in the fact that the argument against cubism, was photographs. Rather than act like the crotchety old man that shuns the new ways, Hockney embraced photography as a new medium for cubism. The photos are taken from multiple angles and in different lights for a more complex images. Thus he created “Joiners,” or a compilation of photos into one picture that was a new version of cubism.

  • Sarah Horn says:

    David Hockney’s creation of photo cubism is a creative way of taking a photographs of a single object or place from different angles in order to create a complete image. His work is based on the cubist movement and the work of artists like Picasso and Cezanne who searched for an outlet for freedom from traditional realist paintings. In an attempt to mock these cubists artist, Hockney shows multiple perspectives that create a cube-like image. Hockney would spend a ridiculous amount of time taking thousands and thousands of photos of the same space in order to give his final photograph a compiled, twisted, new, and cool look. These are what he would go on to consider “joiners”. These photos seem to give a 2-D photo a more 3-D experience to the viewer, and also adds a sense of realism. Hockney’s art adds a sense of movement to a still space.



  • Gray H. says:

    Photo cubism and “joiners” is an art style created by David Hockney. It was inspired by Picasso’s works in cubism, but with more of a modern, technological twist on it. One of the reasons that the cubism style took a dive in popularity was the introduction of photography. Instead of completely hopping on the bandwagon, Hockney decided to use this new technology and create somewhat of a collage of images that would come together to create a bigger image. Each picture would be taken at a different angle with different lighting to create a more interesting and observable image.

  • Taylor says:

    Photocubism, based off of Picassos creation of Cubism, is a style of art created by David Hockney. Hockney created pieces he called “joiners”, which were a multiple photographic portrait of a place or individual, which gives the viewer a better sense of space and time than any ordinary snapshot. His “joiners” show perspective from a different angle in a series of pictures.By layering selected photographs he focused on line and form to depict an area that made your brain work to connect the images, as if it were active.

  • Adriana L. says:

    Photocubism is the art of arranging similar photographs into a cohesive composition. David Hockney started this movement, and was inspired by cubism and its qualities. In photocubism, multiple individual images from multiple perspectives are compiled together as one collective piece. This method takes a three dimensional piece, and makes it seem more two dimensional. It also allows an artist to truly understand space, and how it can affect a composition.




  • Ryan says:

    Joiner by David Hockney Is his attempt to create the effect of seeing the world through multiple viewpoints. He tried to do this with 24 Polaroid prints. 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, how perspective is used in western art and how space is treated differently in non-western art. He did not particularly make joiners because he liked the novel effect of using photographs in this way. However, he did like the way this technique allowed the viewer to read space.

    Examples: http://www.hockneypictures.com/photos/photos_polaroids.php

  • Claire says:

    Photo cubism is a modern style of art based off of cubism which is viewing an object, taking it apart and putting it back together in a way that showcases more then just a straightforward view. It is trying to achieve a more three dimensional look out of a two dimensional piece. David Hockney was trying to give life to photographs like a painting can. He would pick certain stills he wanted to create one big piece that showed movement and gave life to a photo. He wanted the viewer to see more than just one second of a moment, he wanted you to see more.

  • Charina Paras says:

    Photocubism is the technique of joining together multiple image to create a whole image, based on the popular art style of cubism created by Picasso. In Hockney’s case, he used polaroids by either overlapping them or in a neat grid. Hockney wanted to play around with how the user sees space and he was interested in turning something 3 dimensional into something 2 dimensional.


  • Tithi S. says:

    Photocubism is creation of an artwork that was inspired by cubism and Picasso. Like a collage, it is made up through a combination of serval photos put together. Through this technique, several different perspectives can be captured in a single work. David Hockney, through his joiners, want the viewers to realize the different space that they can participate in. He wants to create a “thrilling space”. He wants to show the viewers what he sees in the object, instead of it being an actual view. In several of his paintings, he talks about how objects can seen differently and better if rules are broken (Example: Lines going out, objects gets bigger when it goes further, etc). He calls his joiners “paintings made with camera”. Some of these examples can be seen in the link below:


  • Stephen says:

    Photocubism is a subset of photography developed by David Hockney which utilizes multiple photographs of various views of a landscape or subject to render an image which has the decisive advantages of cubism, which shows a break in conventional realistic perspective and use of space for various purposes, while also having the advantages of film such as the small details relayed in the video (Property of the State of California and the like). It also gives the user a special control over the composition of elements in a generally static medium, even so much so that Hockney himself likens it to painting.

    Joiners are the general expression of photocubism as created by Hockney. These works often utilize developed film photography with uniformly sized photographs to produce a full image with many selected elements and carefully composed perspective and timing.

  • Courtney B. says:

    Photocubism is a Picasso-inspired photography technique created by David Hockney. It uses many photographs of a single subject taken from different angles and at perspectives of a scene to create a broader and unconventional image, much like its ancestor cubism. Photocubism breaks the conventional notions of perspective and uses space to its advantage. The viewer can see one thing from many different angles in just one image (or set thereof).
    In Hockney’s “joiners” he took pictures of subjects or scenes at different ranges, perspectives, and even times to create a pieces that allow the viewer to see small details and to join together space in time. His “joiners” may at a glance look like they conform to the conventional methods of perspective, but they actually include many angles that “shouldn’t ” be together in one image. Hockney is trying to get the viewer to experience the image instead of nearly glancing at it.



  • Katie says:

    David Hockney’s photocubism began when he realized an aspect of drawing and painting that photography couldn’t capture instantly, time. He explained this himself, saying “The moment you’ve looked at it [photo] for even four seconds, you’re looking at it far more than the camera did.” The night he realized this, Hockney began experimenting with multiple polaroid photos around his home. From this frustration with simple photos, Hockney’s Picasso-inspired photocubism technique was born.

    Photocubism is the photography technique in which multiple photos are taken of a subject from various angles, and with focus on certain areas. When these photos are combined, a “joiner” is created, an image which is a photo of a place or individual made up of multiple images from various angles.



  • Mackenzie says:

    Hockney calls a “Joiner,” a multiple photographic portrait of a place or individual, which gives the viewer a better sense of space and time than any ordinary snapshot. The purpose of its’ creation is because Hockney realized there was a weakness in photographs: it captures you for one moment and one moment only. In order to truly see something for how it is you have to view it in many different perspectives. Joiners owe much of their form to Cubism, which Hockney loved. Its’ beginning stemmed from Cubism. A few of his Joiners, as examples can be found here:

  • Kathleen says:

    Photocubism or joiners is the capturing of one scene or image by using photos taken from different perspectives and/or angles. The goal of photocubism is to represent more than one aspect of the image, but to provide various outlooks and outcomes to thoroughly tell a story.
    David Hockney tries to achieve the concept that breaking the rules are okay, especially with perspective because the various changes in size works well in a picture, which allows the rules to be broken. Essentially he wants his viewers to ponder and question how certain elements are allowed certain things while examining the change in perspective throughout the piece.



  • Deanna A. says:

    David Hockney’s “joiners” is inspired by a cubism style paintings. This style of photography began with his interest taking our “3-dimensional world” and forming /depicting it as something 2-dimensional. Hockney created the feeling of space and movement in his photographs by taking photos of one specific area but at different angles and distances. In very basic terms, photocubism could be described as a collage.


  • Jordan says:

    Inspired by ‘traditional’ cubism of the early 20th Century. Like traditional cubism, photocubism aims to capture the same instance from different perspectives (or even the same perspective in different instances). Joiners (also known as “panographs”,) are a type of photocubism, specifically made by “cutting” and layering an image(s) in a way that recreates the same picture in a new fashion. David Hockney coined the term, inspired by cubism to begin making the first photocubism collages out of polaroids in the eighties. Many of his pieces feature his mother as a subject.


Leave a comment!

You must be logged in to post a comment.