by Mark Hoffman
Center for Faith and Life
April 7 - May 22, 2016
This exhibit, “Little Authors Portraits” by New Hampshire artist Mark Hoffmann, features 24 small, tempera paintings arranged into 12 portrait pairs. Each pair includes the portrait of an author along with a portrait representing something closely associated with that author. For example, the portrait of Mary Shelley will be accompanied by a portrait of "The Creature," which is the name of the monster in Shelley's book, Frankenstein. Hoffman created many of the portraits specifically for this show in order to include authors who are frequently taught in Luther's Paideia Program.
Mark Hoffmann is an award winning illustrator, painter and animator, whose work primarily focuses on naïve or even low-brow subjects. He is influenced by Southern Folk Art and Americana. He was raised in Minnesota and earned his BFA from Rhode Island School of Design, and MFA from Umass-Dartmouth. When Hoffmann is not creating or teaching, he spends his free time looking for old junk and wood boxes at antique fairs.
For more information about Hoffmann and his work, please visit his personal website.
“My personal and professional work consists of a variety of mediums and conceptual aesthetics. Most importantly, I have been working towards creating a naïve visual vocabulary. The paintings are inherently western, but conceptually and superficially tied into cultural nuances from the early Americas to the current European illustration market. Breaking rules, that I teach in the classroom, I am trying to find a primitive process that hints at my references.
With my influences pointing towards crude application of material and finished work that is meant to be part of everyday life, I strive to maintain some sense of these principles. My work is created without the finished frame in mind. The work is a taxonomists visual essay of the things that spark my interests. Perspectives, proportions, compositions and colors are intentionally left awkward to add to the conversation. Elements of my design and animation background can be seen in the work, as I will never fully detach myself from them.
Though my work stylistically pulls from sources outside modern day America, the images are directly from it. It is through the application of materials and simple ideas that I hope to bring a quiet and subtle look at my concept of life in America.
I want the viewer to remember and take a moment to appreciate the things that make life a little more interesting. As time passes I am sure I will find new ways of looking and new ways of making, but hopefully the observational motif will still be intact when all is said and done."