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Hockney, David (Author/Artist) & Joyce, Paul (Editor/Contributor). HOCKNEY ON PHOTOGRAPHY. New York City, NY: Harmony Books, 1988. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 192 pages. Fine/Fine.

Retrospective collection of in-depth interviews on subject, with accompanying photographs and art. One of the greatest photography and art books of our time. The first appearance of the title in the United States. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a very small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now scarce. The book is very beautifully produced by David Hockney and Ken Sansone: Oversize-volume format. Blue cloth boards with metallic-silver titles embossed on spine, as issued. Text, photographs, and art by David Hockney. The extensive Interviews were conducted and transcribed by Paul Joyce, one of the preeminent British art historians, and an artist/photographer/film director in his own right. Printed on pristine-white, thick coated stock paper in Spain to the highest standards. In pictorial DJ with titles on the cover and spine, as issued. Presents David Hockney's and Paul Joyce's "Hockney On Photography", his fullest statement, in words and images, on photography. "One of our most passionate experimental artists, he has developed a pioneering concept which also radically changed his perspective on painting: His 'joiners' " (Publisher's blurb). Hockney's photo-collages are his quirkily original response to the artistic challenge and possibility that he believes photography poses. Differing with (and at the same time, expanding upon) the leading theorists of photography in Walter Benjamin ("The Work of Art In The Age of Mechanical Reproduction") and Susan Sontag ("On Photography"), he insists that the single photograph, being the result of a mechanical instrument (the camera), represents the drastic limit rather than the full potential of photography. For Hockney, the single photograph becomes merely a medium that imitates painting, but is degraded as such, because it is infinitely reproducible and lacks the "handcrafted" intervention that painting entails. Human hands make every painting unique. Even Warhol's silkscreen paintings are hand-made, requiring the manual intervention that we associate with art-making. The only way that photography can also become a full-fledged and original art (as opposed to being an imitative medium) is through "handcrafted" intervention. Hence, Hockney's one-of-a-kind photo-collages. He calls them "joiners" (a witty British eccentricity of a term), whereby multiple shots of a subject, taken from different angles, are joined together in order to evoke a space-time continuum in a way that painting cannot do and that only photography can. "Joiner"-collage explores and exploits photography's possibilities in a way that the single photograph does not. A parallel example that helps us understand Hockney's insight: Why is the signed copy of a book special, even unique, and more desirable than its un-signed counterpart? Because the signature is a "handcrafted" intervention that transforms a mechanically reproduced product. A stimulating, provocative, and enriching "take" on photography whose achievement represents a major breakthrough for Hockney's art in particular and the history of photography in general. An absolute "must-have" title for David Hockney collectors. This copy is very boldly and beautifully signed in black pen on the title page by David Hockney. It is signed directly on the page itself, not on a tipped-in page. This title is a great photography and art book. As far as we know, this is the only signed copy of the First American Edition/First Printing available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. A rare signed copy thus. Lavishly illustrated with color plates. One of the greatest living artists. A fine collectible copy. (SEE ALSO ROLAND BARTHES "CAMERA LUCIDA" AND SUSAN SONTAG "ON PHOTOGRAPHY" TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0517571749. $400.00

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