Andrew Hoffman is a truly imaginative Denver artist whose combinations of layered artistic modes, graphic design, and hand-painted masterpieces have earned him a place in the coveted Denver art scene. He oozes presence both in his work and demeanor, balancing the expectations of the modern artist with the realities of everyday artistic and graphic design goals.
I first was introduced to Hoffman’s work at Snowball in 2014 where 16 Denver artists live-painted murals to commemorate the event. I fell in love with Hoffman’s “deeper meaning,” a theme that seems to resonate on a larger scale with the artist. In this particular piece, the number “’76” celebrated the founding of the state of Colorado. Hoffman layered this history on top of a fun, contemporary and unexpected modernist and abstract piece. His work is as clever as it is artistically challenging.
Venues that Hoffman has shown at include Gallery Z in Tokyo for a benefit show, the AIGA World Headquarters and the World Bank in New York City, the Denver Art Museum, RedLine, the CVA, BMoCA, Groundswell Gallery, Super Ordinary Gallery and Black Book Gallery in Denver, and a visiting artist show at Western State in Gunnison, Colorado.
Hoffman grew up in the mountains, in the National Forrest area of Bailey, so the outdoors have always been a huge part of his life. A snowboarder and a college athlete running track at Western State, Hoffman is everything but the ordinary.
303 Magazine sat down with Andrew Hoffman for a casual Q&A.
“I usually work on several paintings simultaneously, slowly working and re-working each composition until I feel intuitively that it is complete. Every mark is carefully planned, but mistakes happen and are a welcomed part of the process. I appreciate evidence of the human condition in my compositions. This process yields a completed composition that transcends the physicality of the piece being a representation of a image or concept on canvas, but rather, allows it to become a familiar dimensional object that is part of my routine – a relic of my everyday life.”
303 Magazine: When did you first know you had a natural talent for art?
Andrew Hoffman: I could always draw well. I was in first grade and I drew a plane from the cartoon show Tailspin, and I won some competition for it. It’s been a life endeavor.
I saw you are a professor at Metro. Tell us, what do you teach?
AH: I’m and adjunct professor at Metro State, I have taught typography, user interface design, and some other classes. I’m in the art department but I mostly teach in the graphic design realm. I ran into some students at Snowball, which was kind of a trip. That’s always awkward. But yeah, I have a pretty good relationship with my students so whenever they have questions, I help them out whenever I can.
Tell me about your hidden or concealed elements? Is it like a well kept secret between you and the work?
AH: It’s not so much a secret as just a hint to the process of art. I tend to conceal select elements of my compositions. This form of reduction and destruction is challenging but exhilarating. The idea of assembling and then eliminating perceived necessities, a principle tenet in minimalism, is a theme that I strive to apply to every aspect of my life.
I always see a touch of literature in your work – is this just the typographer talking or are you a reader?
AH: Both I suppose. I’m a bookworm for sure. My degree is a BFA in design, not literature or anything. I did go to a liberal arts school so I got to take a lot of great classes outside of art and design, like poetry, and creative writing to name a few. I even took an acting class. So yes, I mean, I’ve tried so many things I think they all end up effecting my work, in one way or another.
Hoffman still misses Groundswell Gallery, a gallery he often showcased his work at that catered to a predominantly local roster. It was hard for him and many Denverites to see the gallery close. We are still looking for that place to fill the void of local artists first, and really give the spotlight back to the most talented artists we boast here at home.
Flash forward to almost a year later, Andrew Hoffman is opening his first show in 2015 at Huckleberry Coffee this Saturday night. The show is a collaboration with skateboard company Corriente. Hoffman has two dope, brightly painted decks as well as fine art pieces on canvas for sale and hanging in the space all month long. Join 303 Magazine and meet the artist on March 14h at 7-9pm at Huckleberry Coffee in River North.