By Peter Barell
Arts and Entertainment Editor
Sofie Hoff, senior Art major, will be holding the reception for her show “Artificiality” at the Student Art League gallery in Hillwood Commons today, Feb. 19, from 5 to 8 p.m. Hoff will be showing a new collection of conceptual pieces using plastic cups that bend light as her Visual Art senior and Honors thesis. The exhibit will run until Feb. 22.
Hoff’s work has varied in the past, using ceramics, paints, photography, and charcoals predominantly reinforcing dark psychological themes with her gaunt and skeletal subjects. The Swedish artist makes use of shadow and light in ways that reflect a sense of isolation—even within abstract pieces. Hoff spoke with The Pioneer before the opening of her show.
The Pioneer (TP): What can we expect from the show? Is there any particular overarching theme you have been exploring?
Sofie Hoff (SH): You can prepare yourself to see a lot of plastic cups (laughs). The show is an installation of conceptual sculptures entirely made out of plastic cups, and in addition to that, I have incorporated different light sources, light effects and video art. The concept of the show aims to address the issue of what artificial materials we are surrounding ourselves with, and how that might affect us and the environment in the long run; how the synthetic materials and unnatural, manufactured realities that we create for ourselves remain the same and completely unaffected by external stress such as time.
TP: What influences your work? Is it other artists, music, nature, social interaction? What makes you tick?
SH: This project actually started in 2012, during my first semester here at Post. I made a spiral-shaped piece and shot a video of it, which was featured in an international online video art festival that my Professor Ryan Seslow curated. I felt like the project had potential, so I decided to develop it further for my Honors thesis and senior project.
I would like to say that my biggest inspiration for this show has been my genuine interest in how we perceive reality and how our modern ways of living today isn’t sustainable; neither through an environmental perspective nor when it comes to our health, especially psychological. When it comes to artists that have inspired my work, I think I have to say, Tara Donovan in this particular case. I love her work and I am happy that I was able to experience a show of hers in person this summer.
TP: Any particular plans after graduating from Post?
SH: I want to move back to Europe! If I can’t get a job or an internship that keeps me in New York after I am done in December, I will move to Berlin, rent a studio and just do art for a year or so to see where it might take me.
TP: Do you have a personal definition of “art” or “creativity”? What does art mean to you, and your life?
SH: I think we all have our own definitions of art, and I believe art could be anything and everything. “Art” has several meanings for me. In general, it almost resemblances more a lifestyle to me than physical art works. [For example,] looking at things and being aware of all different perspectives, gives me a greater understanding of things.
TP: If you could sit down and have a drink with any artist, dead or alive, who would it be? And what would your conver- sation be like?
SH: I think it is a tie between Kurt Cobain, Edvard Munch and Alex Pardee. They have inspired me a lot on many different levels at various times throughout my last 10-15 years or so. But I would be really happy if I could meet Edvard Munch, especially because he has had a huge influence on my paintings and drawings. I would pick his brain about what art means to him and ask him very personal questions about his mental health and psychological condition, because that is what initially inspires me the most.