Saturday, July 26, 2003

Pearblossom Highway Revisited

Ever since I saw the David Hockney photography exhibit a couple of years ago at the LA Museum of Contemporary Art (LAMOCA), I've been fascinated by Hockney's collages. Many of the things we do digitally today, Hockney was building from individual polaroids and 35mm prints back in the '80s. Some of the works are massive collages covering entire walls. Often he breaks the barrier between artist and subject by photographing from his feet outward.

Here is an interesting article from the Getty museum detailing how Hockney created Pearblossom Highway, arguably the most famous of these works, and about his collage techniques. The article is titled, David Hockney's Pearblossom Hwy: One Landscape, Many Views. It is rather brief but is a very nice introduction to Hockney's techniques.

One interesting item that some professionals I've spoken with, that is mentioned in this piece, is the fact that when even when Hockney switched from Polaroid to 35mm, he used commercial photo labs instead of professional labs. There is today, some very real concern about the archival quality of some of his photographic masterworks.

Unfortunately, very few of Hockney's photographs are available on the web (and are best seen live anyways, because of their size), but here are a few of his paintings from WebMuseum. And here is also an interesting piece about a BBC documentary discussing Hockney's theory that the masters of classical painting used photography to aid their work.

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