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Artist Crush: Ruan Hoffman

December 15th, 2010 · 3 Comments

A very kind reader introduced me to Ruan Hoffman, a self-taught ceramicist and painter from South Africa. His work, which bridges high and low art (i.e. the craft of ceramics) is poignant and exquisitely beautiful.

Ruan Hoffmann has been working with ceramics for some fifteen years. What sets him apart, however, is that he has never regarded himself as a ‘potter’ or a ceramicist, but as an artist. He uses the three-dimensional surfaces of vases, plates, bowls, tile panels and small sculptures as ‘canvases’ for his icon-like images; and his art is often infused with personal concerns about identity and sexuality, as well as mythical and mystical allusions. – Pretoria News



Hoffman has more recently taken up painting, a medium that clearly suits his artistic endeavors.

His dark, dreamy paintings inhabit an otherworldly dream life, where figures mutate into birds or morph into psychic creatures or an inchoate swamp of melancholia. Skulls or memento mori (from the Latin phrase: ‘remember you must die’) featured prominently in the show, counterpoised by an unexpected pop palette of salmon pinks and acid yellows. – Alexandra Dodd for Wanted Magazine