Photo: courtesy of Katja Lau
1971 born in Stuttgart , Germany
Lives and works in:
» Los Angeles , CA
» 1990-1997 Studied and worked in pre-print processing and graphic design. BA
» 1997-1998 Lived in Paris , France ; attended art seminars/workshops and language learning institutions.
» 1998-1999 Studied at Freie Kunstschule, Stuttgart , Germany.
»1999-2004 Studied Fine Art and Graphics at Akademie der Bildenden Kuenste, Karlsruhe , Germany. BFA
» 2004-2005 Master Student of Professor Franz Ackermann at Akademie der Bildenden Kuenste, Karlsruhe , Germany. MFA
» Professor Gerd Van Dülmen
» Professor Simone Wester-Winter
» Professor Antje Majewski
» Professor Corinne Wasmuht
» Professor Franz Ackermann
» Master Student of
Professor Franz Ackermann
Worked on a variety of exhibitions with renown international artist Franz Ackermann, including at the Dallas Cowboy's Stadium in 2008; and the exhibition "Ecstacy: In and About Altered States" at the MOCA in Los Angeles in 2005.
Doro Hofmann and her twin sister were born in Stuttgart , Germany , on the 14 th of May, 1971 . She grew up in a family of artists and graphic designers; her father is a teacher of art and handicrafts. While her sister went on to mechanical engineering, Doro earned a degree in graphic design and pre-press processing, spending every free minute drawing .
While working extreme hours in advertising and retouching photographs, she would continue to take on commissions painting murals and portraits and airbrushing on motorcycles and helmets.
A horseback riding accident forced her to stay home for over 6 weeks, which allowed her to find time to further develop her artistic talent. This was a highly influential period, in which she decided to move to Paris to follow her dream and become a painter.
Initially, she studied fine arts and graphics at a private school, the Freie Kunstschule in Stuttgart . A year later, she was accepted to the Akademie der Bildenden Kuenste, Karlsruhe —one of the most prestigious fine arts academies in Germany.
There, she studied with in-resident and internationally known artists, such as Professors Horst Antes, Simone Wester-Winter, Antje Majevski, Corinne Wasmuht, and Franz Ackermann.
Doro Hofmann lives in Los Angeles , California
LAKE OF FIRE
Doro Hofmann at Ghettogloss Gallery, Los Angeles 2010
Excessive, sensual and kaleidoscopic, Hofmann’s image-saturated paintings comprise a meticulous study of the human impulse, desire. Magma-colored jewels
and scintillating gold chains erupting from distant galaxies and lavish depictions of imaginary religious icons are some of the multifarious images Hofmann uses to
visually construct how human desire motivates action, fantasy, destruction and uncertainty.
Exploring the darker roots of desire in the context of a highly politicized, acquisitive and image-obsessed cosmopolitan consciousness, Hofmann probes at what
influences our desires and how these forces drive and/or erode our ability to Identify what truly affects our overall wellbeing. Complicating this discussion,
Hofman asks whether it is at all necessary to place moral value on desire and the outcomes of pursuing it.
Drawing from present-day media, biblical texts, medieval Roman icons and the works of John Milton, Hofmann’s energetic use of electric colors and exacting
hyperrealism creates imagined heavens of hells and hells of heavens. There, the viewer is left to decide where they are, where they want to be, and where they will
Doro Hofmann is a Columbus Art Foundation Fellow and former master student of internationally acclaimed artist Franz Ackermann. She is a BFA and MFA graduate
of the Karlsruhe State Academy of Art and Design in Karlsruhe, Germany and has shown in Germany and the United States. Her work has been exhibited in local art
spaces including Pharmaka and the Architecture and Design Museum.
The exhibition is curated by Christine Thuy-Anh Vu, 2010.
A Subconscious Universe
By Christine Thuy-Anh Vu, 2009
Intentionally fashioning overwrought visual universes filled with the excessive spoils of wealth, Doro Hofmann’s oeuvre from the past five years critically examines the socio psychological effects of an oft-innocuous, internal human force: Desire.
In its most positive state, desire inspires and incites us to action. We attempt to self actualize and focus on what fulfills our psychic core. We pursue what we wish to
possess or aspire to do or be. In more grim states, however, it can blind and compel us to give chase to what is self-destructive or impalpable, often overextending our hopes
and squandering our resources. Through Hofmann’s forceful multimedia approaches and myriad-layered imagery, she examines the darker roots of this compulsion in the
context of a highly political, consumerist and image-obsessed cosmopolitan consciousness. Tracking its less than benign effects, Hofmann probes how our desires of
what we want and who we would like to be can imbue our actions with misleading direction and predispose us to acquiesce to deceptive external influences. Conversely, we may also unwittingly allow these exterior forces to sway our desires and unfavorably affect who we are and think we should be.
In her two latest series, Lost Icons and Fallen Angels, while visual and conceptual treatments of the contemporary social condition, Hofmann’s works draws the viewer
back into time, to a period of chaste religious values and spirituality where modern, misguided desires appear unconnected.
Inspired by her research findings about Italian Renaissance and Byzantine iconic portraiture, the portraits Hofmann created for her Lost Icons series are similar to
religious portraiture, employing sumptuous colors, textured fabric and depictions of holy faces that gaze at or beyond the viewer from an elevated plane. While representing the hallowed and revered, Hofmann’s icons also portray what is otherworldly, unattainable and by extension, unreal. The celestial background in Hofmann’s iconic images additionally reveal brilliant galaxies of distorted, glowing jewels, gold chains and modern luxury brand insignias. Thinly veiled illusions, these fabricated cosmos suggest how one’s desires and assumed reality can be deceptive and manufactured by external social sources, like religion, political parties or cultural conventions.
A very secular, however more contemporary, treatment of other Christian devotional painting aesthetics, the Fallen Angels series alludes to the Biblical account of the fall of
the archangel Lucifer to perdition. To complicate this conceptual study, Hofmann also considers the 17th Century epic poem, Paradise Lost, by John Milton as inspiration for
her series. Like the paintings in Lost Icons, Fallen Angels also uses thematic interplay between ostensibly religious imagery and human desires. Furthering this examination,
Hofmann leaves the viewer to question the consequences of submitting to such misguided desires or temptations. While such “fall” would insinuate a bleak infinity of
metaphorical fire and brimstone, Hofmann, similar to Milton, leaves to open evaluation if that would actually happen. If we are mislead in our understanding of our world and
universe, who is ultimately responsible for our misdeeds? If we fought those who mislead us, as Lucifer did in Paradise Lost, are we blameworthy? And if so, why?
In addition to her paintings, Hofmann uses installation pieces to examine similar themes. Her imposing Lipstick Chapels from 2005 and 2008 are very overt representations of
how politics and consumerism employ public methods to transform our impulses, opinions and self-concept. While very effective experiential presentations, Hofmann’s
approach to her paintings allows for a more open and flexible evaluation of desire, without the finiteness of a physical space and the visual imposition of a very dominant
phallic structure, the lipstick.
The magnetic pull of Hofmann’s works draw the viewer into hyper-realistic environments saturated with overlapping layers and spaces that burst with objects and
unabashed figures occupying the liminal state between the absurdly real and the absurdly imagined. Predating her Fallen Angels and Lost Icons Series, Hofmann’s
haunting Dream Series presents a visually sparse and melancholic presentation of the psychology of desire. Inspired by the tragic fire of her Los Angeles home in 2005,
Hofmann uses shadows and delicate outlines to trace distant memories, much like the outlines of objects she found burnt into the earth after the fire. Exposing the bleak
emptiness of want and a dark universe of dreams and memories, Hofmann examines how desires can also extend to connect to the past, but again are mere aspirations to
attain impalpable impossibilities.
Although Hofmann frequently compares the effects of religion with contemporary influences like politics and excessive consumerism on desire, the conceptual focal point
of her work concerns the bidirectional impact between our individual identities and impressionable desires. By sharing her intricate and insightful social examinations,
Hofmann unlocks a subconscious universe to her viewers. There, while many linger dreaming and forget who they really are and their life-given liberties, a fortunate few
can walk away on their own, being able to discern dream from reality, truth from falsehoods and distorted caricatures from our true identities. In this state of
unadulterated awareness, desire becomes empowerment and a pursuit for what is true. Perhaps, ultimately, such pursuit will lead to actual and lasting fulfillment.
Doro Hofmann bezieht die Inspirationen fuer ihre hochaesthetischen Frottagen, Collagen und Gemaelden aus den glitzernd-perfekten Bildwelten von Medien, Mode und Konsum, deren suechtig machende Koerperidealitaeten laengst Eingang gefunden haben in die alltaegliche Selbstinszenierung privaten Lebens. Vertraut mit den Strategien perfekter Bildregie, unterwandert Dorothee Hofmann die obsessive Fixierung auf plakative Vollkommenheit. Sie setzt in ihren Arbeiten bekannte Bildelemente (Lippenstifte, Models) und Symbole (Kreuz, Perle) in groteske Zusammenhaenge, erzeugt widerspruechliche Begegnungen und absurede Konstellationen, die den allgegenwaertigen Pop-Ikonen-Konsum-Kult auf die Spitze treiben und darin zugleich seinen ermuedenden Charakter vor Augen fuehren. In Titeln wie „ I had a dream....“ oder „Wannabe....somewhere else“ beschreibt sie die zugleich romantische und skeptische Sehnsucht, auf und nach einem Entkommen aus den Zwaengen stereotyper Oberflaechenschoenheit, die ihrerseits als Abglanz der Suche nach dem „Wahren, Guten, Schoenen“ erscheint.
Text von Dr.Dorothee Hoefert, November 2006