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Cubism and the Photomontage Lesson Plan


Class: Art Appreciation

Title of Project: Cubism - David Hockney - Cubism and the Photomontage

Media: Photography

Grade Level: 9th – 12th Length of time for this project: 3 class periods

For this project you will be creating your own photo collage, and you will imitate the style of Hockney. Here are the guidelines and hints for a successful photo collage:
• Take your photos of the same person, place or thing.
Use a minimum of 24 photos – 4x6.
• Vary the distance you are from your subject by taking a step forward or backward.
• Take pictures of different sections of your subject by stepping to either side or turning your camera to a different angle.
• Create your composition carefully before gluing it down! Think about the edges of your composition and how much each photo will overlap.
• Add a border if you like. The color and size of the poster board that you use to glue your photos on is up to you.
• Carefully glue down your photo collage and give it a title! Use a permanent marker to sign your artwork.

David Hockney (1937-?) is a British born artist who lives in Los Angeles. He always wanted to be an artist, so he created posters at school and made drawings for the school magazine. When he was a little bit older, he attended art school in London. After a visit to New York in 1961, he decided that the freedom he found in American society suited him and inspired his artwork. Since then he has become successful creating many different kinds of artworks, including oil paintings, acrylic paintings, etchings, prints, theatre design, and photo collages. He became successful so rapidly that he was able to support himself by selling his artwork when he was still in his early 20’s!David Hockney began his career as a painter, and it is earliest paintings that have earned him the label of Pop Artists. Many people consider Hockney a Pop Artist because his first paintings were light hearted and showed common scenes, much like the work of other Pop artists. In the two paintings pictured here we see examples of a Californian lifestyle. The painting on the left is titled A Bigger Splash, and the painting on the left is called A Lawn Being Sprinkled. Hockney painted both artworks in 1967. Hockney frequently documented his work with photography.

From 1973-1975 he lived in Paris and worked with two of Picasso’s printers. During this time he made etchings in memory of Picasso, who he greatly admired. It is very possible that Picasso’s cubist paintings inspired the photo collages that Hockney began creating in the 1980’s. His first collages were mosaics created by laying out Polaroids in a grid. The artwork on the left is called Kasmin, and was made in 1982.
Hockney preferred photo collages to single photographic images because it forces the viewer to see all of the parts. Hockney believed that the photo collages were like visual perception. Visual perception is when a person looks at all of the details or aspects of an object in order to see it as a whole. In addition to the grid collages, Hockney created collages by overlapping photographs. The collage above is called Place Furstenberg, Paris, and was made in 1985. The artwork on the right is called Mother and was also made in 1985. The artwork at the top of the first page is also by Hockney and is called Pearblossom Highway, created in 1986.

Additional Plans:
David Hockney Lesson Plan: Photomontage - Digital: Students will learn and use both digital cameras, computers, perspective, and planning techniques. The final product will be a finished photographic piece that each student will create individually from photos taken with the digital cameras and printed from the computer on photo quality paper.

Teaching Linear Perspective: Many artists are very interested in making two-dimensional artworks look three-dimensional. During the Renaissance, artists used mathematics and close observation to invent "linear perspective"-a technique that helps artists make things look three dimensional. This lesson teaches the basics of drawing forms in two-point perspective

Videos: Behind the Scenes: The Illusion of Depth (also listed as Behind the Scenes with David Hockney (1992)) Hosted by Penn and Teller, this video gives an entertaining and educational summary of depth techniques.

Actual Artwork Done By One Of My Students - Won 1st Place in Art and Science Expo 2007