Exhibits & Lectures »

05/04/2017 – 4:55 pm |

My very awesome coworker, Olivia Hockaday, is leading the Church on Morgan’s First Friday exhibition this Friday, May 5!  I know for many students in this class it will probably be their last Friday in …

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 01/30/2017 – 6:49 pm 31 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.


  • Mariel says:

    Photocubism is a term that describes a unique style in which photographs are layered on top of one another to create a single image. This composite image borrows elements from cubism in the fact that it doesn’t adhere to the western conventions of perspective and provides multiple points of view.

    With his Joiners, David Hockney is trying to not only capture time, but the experience of space and time, to make the viewer an active participant in the piece. By using multiple viewpoints, the viewer’s eye continuously moves around the image. Hockney believed that the weakness of photography was it simply captured a static, frozen moment and could not express time and space in the same way that a painting or drawing could. The fragmented nature of the Joiners is supposed to replicate the rapid movement of the human eye. We perceive a space or figure in pieces and those pieces are then processed as one image.

    Examples of Hockney’s “Joiners”

    Examples of Joiners Made by Other Artists
    Daniel Crooks

    Sohei Nishino

  • Amanda says:

    Photocubism tries to bring photography into life in three-dimension. It’s a method used to display and “join” many small pictures into one. It was created when British artist David Hockney was inspired by Cubist painters incorporating multiple viewpoints of a single subject and applied their concept to photography. Joiner photographs show the same subject from different times and perspectives, capturing movement and how human vision works.

    More on Joiner photography and examples: http://joinerphotography.com/How%20to/HowTo.html

  • Caroline Pinkelton says:

    To understand photocubism it is first helpful to know what cubism is. Cubism is a type or style of painting as well as sculpture that was developed in the early 20th century. It is characterized by “an emphasis on formal structure, the reduction of natural forms to their geometrical equivalents, and the organization of the planes of a represented object independently of representational requirements.” Photocubism on the other hand, is similar to cubism in that it is a unique style where pictures are layered on top on of another to create on work of art, one image. Photocubism was developed when David Hockney, a British artist took the style of cubism to the next level by using photos and the inspiration behind cubism and the incorporation of having multiple viewpoints of one subject and combined them. The best example of his work is a panorama. Where a series of photos are taken of overlapping images to create one image. In the link below are other examples and information on David Hockney and Joiner photography.

    Joiner photography http://joinerphotography.com

  • Anner says:

    Photo-cubism is joining or merging pictures together to get a 3D and life like feeling to it. Hockney said “The photographs didn’t really have life in the way a drawing or painting did, and I realized it couldn’t because of what it is”. A photograph is the other way round, it’s a fraction of a second, frozen. So, the moment you’ve looked at it for even four seconds, you’re looking at it far more than the camera did. He first took lots of pictures of his home and studio concentrating on some areas. Then selected the photos he wanted to use, placed these onto a board, arranging them by the same decisions of “line and form” that he used when drawing a picture. the result he called a “joiner”.


  • Kat says:

    Photocubism is an art form that mimics that of cubism. Where cubism achieves structure by turning organic subjects into more geometric forms, photocubism uses multiple layered photographs to create an image. This image often will appear to not have direct perspective, as the photographs will have been taken from multiple different angles. This technique often allows the user to make the subject appear to be moving. Photocubism is trying to achieve a static picture that can remain still and yet still capture elements of movement through space and time.

    Through the use of joiners, David Hockney is trying to achieve many differently things. Mainly, Hockney focused on how to transfer the 3D world into a 2D image, and how to ensure that the 3D nature of the picture would still be captured.

    Ben Yates http://www.photocubism.com/photocubism.php
    David Hockney: http://dangerousminds.net/comments/david_hockneys_cubist_photography

  • Rachel Hawkins says:

    Regular photography by itself, captures one subject at one time, but photo cubism allows for greater complexity in the way the artist chooses to portray different parts of the overall image. Photo cubism breaks apart a whole, in order to capture the depth of specific parts. This tactic allows the photographer freedom in showing the multitude of views and angles that can be represented within such parts.

    David Hockney argues that traditional/ regular photography can’t fully show all the things that are going on while capturing art. He uses photo cubism, and creates these pieces called joiners. The joiners group together many photos, of which the collective is made from differentiated by light, focus, and clarity. This gives several different lenses into a time and place, which changes how much can be perceived by photography, if done differently.

    Example of joiner:


  • Jamie says:

    Photocubism joins and layers photographs together to create one image for a 3D perspective while Cubism made fractured objects into geometric forms. David Hockey was inspired by Cubism using different “images” or layers for their paintings. He brought this art to photography to capture time and space. Hockey describes that it doesn’t have the same life that a painting has as he is involving the viewer in the space with multiple viewpoints, rather than a static image. These arrangements of photos created “Joiner.” This concept focused on eye movements in space and time.

    Examples: http://dangerousminds.net/comments/david_hockneys_cubist_photography

  • Dennis says:

    Photocubism is a radically different way of presenting photographs than the traditional single shot still. Photocubism uses many different photo stills of the same subject to create a single composition. This new composition can be seen as a whole, yet the stills that make up the piece have their own qualities that let each still stand on its own. This gives the piece as a whole a new sense of depth, as well as a sense of movement and time. The concept of Photocubism can be traced to artist David Hockney, who was ultimately inspired by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, the founders of Cubism.

    David Hockney did not call his photo compositions Photocubism pieces. Instead, he called them “joiners”. He came upon the concept by accident. After photographing a house to be painted, he arranged the Polaroids he took in a way that resembled the house as whole. He didn’t mean for this arrangement to be it’s own composition, but it was. From then on he continued to experiment with his joiners concept. He explained that this new way of capturing moments of life is as good as a drawing or painting because it does not have a “sense of life”. He found that stills only captured a split second of life and were “frozen”. With his joiners he can bring the “sense of life” into his photo compositions. This “sense of life” gives depth and time to his joiners, which is what all he could ever want.


  • Sarah Park says:

    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.

    Heavily influenced by cubism, photocubism is a pictorial style that inherits the concepts of cubism. Photocubism is a style used when the photographer uses more than one perspective of a subject and combines them into one photograph.

    A famous artist/photographer during the rise of this movement, David Hockney, explains that the subject is constantly moving. Thus, using straight photography cannot fully capture the subject. Hockney utilizes photocubism within his joiner series/techniques to create images that exemplify the continuous time spent with a subject.


  • Tracy S says:

    Photocubism is very similar to cubism, in that it is abstract and inspired through movements. Photocubism is done with this idea through using photographs. David Hockney was trying to achieve this same idea but with the possibility of photographs. He wanted to be able to portray a single subject but with multiple viewpoints. This way of art is actually very intriguing, we are able to look at a piece and see so much more there than if it was just a simple painting of the subject. It is the idea of 2D and 3D designs to coexist together.
    When Hockney created the “joiners” it was an accident. He took polaroids of a room and glued them together, and this is how the idea was created. He did not like how cameras were transforming so a goal of his was to be able to overcome the stationary camera. All photography shared the lack of time, with photocubism he is able to achieve the same idea as a camera but with much more detail and depth to the piece.


  • Colton D says:

    Cubism is an art term that describes the effect of achieving multiple viewpoints within a piece. Usually it coincides with the use of more basic shapes and multiple, interlocking pieces. Photocubism achieves the same result, but through photography rather than painting and collage. While, it wouldn’t necessarily be considered cubism, a world map provides a good reference as to converting 2D into 3D and vice versa.

    Hockney’s use of joiners not only achieves the 2D to 3D effect, but also introduces a sense of motion and evolution that a single photo could not achieve by itself. Many of his photographs have a panoramic look to them, but it’s as if the panorama was taken over time.

    Resources and Examples:



  • Tierra W says:

    Photocubism is a type of art that focuses on transforming 2D photography into a 3D space through cubist techniques. By fracturing the image overall into multiple photos taken at different times and angles, the work becomes multidimensional. Just like with cubist works where different angles of various subjects were drawn/painted/etc to create a sense of movement, photocubism aims to achieve the same thing.

    David Hockney was trying to bring life to his photography in a new way. When he was at Le Centre Pompidou in Paris, he compared his exhibition of photos to the surrounding cubist art and realized that there was an energy and life that was absent from his own works.

    “I had become very, very aware of this frozen moment that was very unreal to me. The photographs didn’t really have life in the way a drawing or painting did, and I realized it couldn’t because of what it is.”

    With his Joiners, he hoped to create the same energy and sense of life/movement within photographs.


  • Ben says:

    Photocubism attempts to transform multiple single-perspective images into one multidimensional image with several perspectives. The images are all taken from different perspectives and are taken at different times. The idea is that because a camera can only capture a still shot from one angle, that using Photocubism gives a sense of life to an otherwise lifeless image. This is what Hockney was trying to achieve: to create an image that portrays movement and depth in the same way that a drawing or painting seemingly has more dimensions than a photograph.


  • Keyston says:

    David Hockney’s photo-cubism incorporates multiple viewpoints within one picture, much like the cubistic style by Pablo Picasso. Where cubism is done with paint, photo-cubism is done by taking many photographs of a specific area from many different perspectives. Hockney found that photographs “had not captured a true sense of the events they depicted” so he explored a new way of creating more life in photographic images. He created “joiners,” which were these huge artworks comprised of multiple photographic images of a specific object or place. This creates the perception of a sort of “filmed sequence” within the artwork, and reflects the way we actually perceive things in the world.


  • Andrew says:

    Photo-cubism is the art of joining together lots of different photographs of the same scene. The purpose of this is not to be able to photograph a larger area like you would in a panorama. The purpose is to create more intrigue than would usually exist in a photo. This technique was pioneered by David Hockney. He saw it as a way of compensating for the limitations of photography. One photo is only a fraction of a second, but but putting together many of them it is possible to reveal something about the space that couldn’t usually be seen.



  • Montrey says:

    Photocubism is an extension of the Cubism movement into photography. Cubism was partially pioneered by Pablo Picasso who greatly influenced David Hockney; this is evident in nearly all of Hockney’s work in which he manipulates traditional perspective. It was interesting to hear how time and perspective played a role in the painting “A Visit with Christopher and Don.” My eye was constantly wondering over the seemingly cluttered painting until Hockney explained the somewhat linear progression within the painting. I think having the table at the center and visiting the site several times to paint from memory rather than sight enables the viewer to really experience the space and feel like you’re actually in the house. Since the perspective is distorted and the natural environment played such a big role in shaping Hockney’s paintings, the viewer is really forced to study the picture to establish their own point of view and where they are at in relation to the many objects in the paintings. I believe what I describe as “experiencing” the painting is what influenced Hockney to develop his “joiners.”

    “I had become very, very aware of this frozen moment that was very unreal to me. The photographs didn’t really have life in the way a drawing or painting did, and I realized it couldn’t because of what it is.” -David Hockney

    Rather than depict a scene or individual from a single viewpoint, Hockney would depict the subject from a multitude of viewpoints to represent the subject in a greater context and give the photograph life. This also allowed Hockney to manipulate traditional perspective and dedicate more time to developing and viewing the photograph.

  • Rysa says:

    Photocubism arose from the Cubist sytle of incorporating multiple perspectives in a 2-D composition by including another dimension to the presentation of art. Photocubism is the combination of 2-D art with 3-D medium. An image is presented on a structure that is divided into pieces of varying height. This variation in the height of each element creates an optical illusion that enhances the art by changing the appearance at various angels of viewing.

    Here is a site that has a lot of great examples: http://www.photocubism.com/photocubism.php

    David Hockney first began creating “joiners” out of polaroid photographs. He took images of the same scene from different angles to capture the dimension of the world then combined these images together to show a scene with multiple perspectives. Hockey refers to these photocollages as “joiners”. Hockey sees these joiners as a narrative of the subject.

    Here are some examples of this work: http://www.hockneypictures.com/photos/photos_polaroid_07.php

  • Emily says:

    Photocubism is essentially doing to a real-life image what cubism did to paintings back in the early 1900s from Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. Photocubism encapsulates the essence of not just a fraction of a second, like a typical photograph, but rather a series of moments, woven together on a 2-D plane to create a dynamic story. For example, in his piece “The Scrabble Drawing,” one begins to get a sense of each player’s personality and the relationships between the three players through the layered, collage-like approach he takes when trying to capture the scene.

    It is interesting to see how many traditional rules of fine art Hockney breaks in his joiners. First and most obviously, he layers several photos on one canvas rather than simply emphasizing a single image. But the edges of the photo assemblies do not run to the edge and cleanly cut off at the border; instead the shape of the joiner itself usually takes a very organic, abstract form.


  • Madeline K says:

    Photocubism is form of art in which the artist takes many photos of a person or place (a scene) over time, and then joins these many photos together into one image, similar to a collage. Hockney used the term “joiners” when he first created these compositions. The goal of photocubism is to achieve a deeper look into the subject of the art work in terms of time and space.

    Hockney pointed out that a photograph only depicts “a fraction of a second” and to him, that was not enough. Through his joiners, Hockney was trying to achieve a similar feeling to that of a painting or drawing, but using photographs as the medium. He was trying to show more of a story with his compositions than a single photograph could portray.




  • Harrison Moore says:

    Photocubism a two dimensional art form achieved through the layering and splicing of photographs leading to a manipulation of geometry and perspective and give a composition more depth. The composition is not morphed to a point in which the original context can no longer be recognized. Just like in the painting genre of cubism, the human eye can still seem to make out the final piece through the sudden changes in perspective, lighting and geometry found throughout the composition (thanks continuation).

    Painter and photographer David Hockney is famous for his use of photo cubism in his series of “joiners”. Hockney was working to create what would essentially
    be a panorama, but the accidental abrupt change in perspective that occurred when he started giving layering the images together gave the piece more depth than expected. The three dimensional feel derived from photocubism became something Hockney sought after for a good portion of his career.

    Examples of photocubism:

    David Hockney

    Mellisa Timm

    No creator provided (flickr)

  • Lukas Weygoldt says:

    Photocubism exists within two realms; the two dimensional form of art and the 3 dimensional one as well. Photography strictly is a 2 dimensional image of a subject. Its taken with a camera and is portrayed on paper, canvas, or any other 2 dimensional medium. Cubism on the other hand tried to represent more 3-d beings. The paintings had lots of depth, were very angular, and extremely cluttered. Pablo Picasso was one of the pioneers in this field. Now if you combine the photography and cubism you get photocubism!

    David Hockney, who was greatly influenced by Picasso and his cubism painting, first began his exploration of photocubism when he wanted to add depth to his Polaroid shots. he began by taking multiple photos of the same subject from many many angles. Later he combined them all into a huge collage, all focused and stitched together around his central object. This style of stitching he later dubbed as “joiners”.

    The idea behind adding addition layers added quite some depth into the images. Because they were all taken at a different time and from different angles, the single pictures all had various coloration and such, mainly due to the change in time. This is what gives the final product that feeling of depth. The 2 dimensional images were a 3 dimensional representation of the subject.

    Here is an example of his work along with references one: http://dangerousminds.net/comments/david_hockneys_cubist_photography

    Reference two: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/art/9081303/David-Hockney-interview.html

  • Charlie says:

    Photocubism and David Hockney’s work with joiners are trying to achieve art the real way the human eye sees the world. A single image, drawing, or painting, is just a quick snapshot of life. When everything is presented in one solid flat image often leaves many things out and in general is not realistic. Our eyes moves around a space in real life, constantly focusing on different aspects which in turn all come together in our head to form a complete, smooth, continuous image. That larger image is the way we perceive something but nevertheless it is not the way we see it originally. By doing art in this way, different aspects of an image can be brought into focus and effectively more data can be brought into an image for you can “zoom” in and out on different areas or objects in the image. This cubist approach was created in fact not with photography but with paintings. One of the early great names associated with this style is none other than Pablo Picasso. Of course, since the times of Picasso much has advanced with the cubist movement. With the power of photography, an entire city can be captured and by layering small images, the entire city can be seen on a single canvas. The entire city includes everything from the largest buildings, to the tiny birds nesting on the light poles, to the individuals faces who give the city personality. Hockney started with this idea with Polaroid photography and would take pictures of a scene and lay them together once he got back to his studio. Sometimes he arranged them in a grid pattern and other times he laid them on top of each other, almost looking scattered, but it formed a movement in the work. Photocubism I believe is becoming an even more important art form in recent times. With everything becoming more complex and everything being crammed into even smaller spaces, the idea of beauty still can exist in its entirety, but sometimes things just need to be distorted slightly to work.

    Some links with great photographs of both Hockney’s work and Picasso and other early artist:

  • Emily G says:

    Photocubism, much like cubism, uses square (or mostly square) images and puts them together in a more unique way. Through this, the viewer is able to gain more perspective and sense of space than with a traditional photograph. It provides the ultimate angle because it provides so many of them — not everything has to be the same size or line up exactly how it would in real life (this adds to the illusion of motion even more so).

    Joiners come from using this principle to arrange the photos so that “lines and form” connect in a similar way as they would when “drawing a picture.” This enables the whole image to have more movement and life than a single, more static photograph would. The way this technique captures a moment is almost in between how video and typical still photography do.

    One of my favorite examples (and the source for my quotations):

    I’m not sure if this is by Hockney, but I really liked it and thought it conveyed the sense of motion very interestingly:

    Lastly, I think photo cubism portraits are really interesting, because they also work to add meaning about the subject itself – choosing and showing off/emphasizing different elements of a person’s face can say a lot about them:

  • Adam C says:

    Photocubism is form of artistic photography that was pioneered in the late 1960’s by British artist David Hockney. In what he called “joiners”, Hockney combined multiple images of his subjects-taken from different vantage points–into a single composition; creating a totally new experience for the viewer. In his composition called “Pearblossom Hwy” the viewer can move through sections of the image and view different objects as if they were standing right in front of them.

    Photocubism has its roots in Cubism–an art style made famous by Pablo Picasso. Cubism portrays the subjects from many different angles, combines these perspectives into a single composition, and creates a “more truthful” representation of the experience of viewing the subject. In Picasso’s paintings, multiple perspectives are painted on intersecting geometric planes. These perspectives are superimposed onto each other to create an entire composition in which the subject appears fractured where different perspectives collide. Hockney implemented this idea of fractured perspectives (used to create a whole image) in his photography. He used photos taken from different perspectives add combined them to create images that are more dynamic and exciting than traditional photography techniques.

  • Alissa G says:

    Photo cubism joins layers of a 2 dimensional photograph in order to give an image a 3 dimensional perspective. Photo cubism is similar to cubism in the sense that it challenged conventional forms of representation such as perspective.

    David Hockney, a famous artist and photographer, argues that traditional photography does not capture art to the fullest extent. As a result, Hockney used of joiners, which is a style that explores the concepts of time and space where different perspectives of an image in order to form a new composition.



  • Brian Ha says:

    Photocubism is a very abstract collage so to speak. It takes multiple images and merges them together to create a single image. It creates a very very interesting perspective because the images are usually joined together with dissimilar perspectives. The dissimilar perspectives makes the overall image an almost virtual reality type feel. As you begin to focus on the individual pictures of the images your perspective shifts giving you the feeling that your are almost moving throughout the artificial world. David Hockney honed in on this technique and coined the term “joiner” to describe his unique images.

  • Jeffrey L says:

    Photocubism is a style of visual art composition derived from the cubist style which was utilized most recently and popularly by Picasso among many other artists. The cubist style adds depth to images in two dimensions.

    Hockney has derived a style of that sort with his “joiners” pieces. In these pieces he connects sections of images that share subject matter but often may differ in style or execution and combines them in one visual composition. These images serve to break apart a single image while maintaining the integrity of every single image used to create the larger. Depth, space, and time become strong implied themes in these pieces. The images chosen can be used emphasize certain points in a composition and can tell the audience much about a piece and the artist. Photocubism allows an artist to truly pinpoint the focal aspects of a work. These aspects are insights in the artist process and is a medium that shares many instances in one work.

    David Hockney used landscapes and long lines and roads through huge images in previous attempts to create movement, space, depth and time in his work. His enormous panoramas can be seen as an attempt to find a solution to his problem of story telling in limited space. Photocubism allows for this.




  • Victoria says:

    Photocubism is joining several pictures together of an object or space at different times to create a whole picture. Although the image is of a static subject, the use of photocubism gives it some movement through out space and time.

    David Hockney believes that traditional photography of an image cannot capture what is happening around the image. Hockney creates movement in photocubism with what he calls “joiners”. Joiners are an arrangement of photos taken from different times and angles and then joined together to make a single cohesive image.

    Example of joiners:

  • Sidney says:

    Photocubism can be describe as layering; basically the designer is layering different images together to make a complete images. In the film they show the process that goes in to create a photo cubism image. This is allowing for photograph and art to be used together to create one piece of art. I believe the reason that this is considered to be cubism is because that it what the early stages of cubism consisted of. Early Picasso painting that were cubist where layers and layers of paint and also some paper was included. In some of the examples that I have give links to below show examples of taking pictures of the same image and just zooming in and zooming out of an image. The same image is being used but just being manipulated to create a photo cubism design. The other examples that I attached are were the artist used several different image and then the images complete some different. This type of art is a different form and also the artist us to completely different media to create something that is unique. I believe that is actually what this photo cubism is showing layer upon layer of art that David Hockney is creating.


Leave a comment!

You must be logged in to post a comment.