Home»Art» Amrei Hofstatter- I am mostly interested and fascinated by imperfect things, damaged things, damaged people. They reveal and carry within an incredible beauty that perfection could never convey.
Amrei Hofstatter- I am mostly interested and fascinated by imperfect things, damaged things, damaged people. They reveal and carry within an incredible beauty that perfection could never convey.
We have been gone for a minute folks, please forgive us. But I can assure you, things are slowly getting back on track, and to prove it I’ve got a really dope interview for you. I recently came across some artwork that completely threw me off mentally. I had no clue what to think of this except that I had to get in touch with the mind behind what I was seeing. Origami, fashion, spirituality, imagination… Amrei Hofstatter.
In many of your images, there is a being or many beings. From my perception they are often female. I see them as the creator of the universe you put in front of us; It seems that everything that the image is, illuminates from them. For example, Nneha from your latest works is at the center of the entire universe of the image, just as a queen sits at her throne. What is your intended representation of women within your artwork, and what do women represent to you as an artist in life?
I am happy that you mention this particular image, as it was done as a present for a person who made a really deep impact on my life, and it is one of my works that I hold closest to my heart. But, and this actually counts for the majority of my work, I usually start off with a really vague idea of what the piece is going to be about, until suddenly, during the middle of the process, the meaning reveals itself to me. Regarding the representation of women in my work, my purpose is never to talk about women or womanhood. The characters in my pieces are dolls, and they are completely asexual beings, or at least not sexual as we define that usually. I can’t tell you what they are, what they were meant to be, if they are eternal, if they have any will at all, if they a creation of the world around them or the other way round. Many people who view my work have really different reactions to and different interpretations of those beings and I am very happy about that. It is the way it should be.
To take the previous question further, your artwork carries a tone of spirituality in it that to me is undeniable. The figures are often in spiritually authoritative positions or postures such as DNAngel from The Transmutation of Carbon. This also came across to me very strongly in The Invocation of A Spirit. Is your creative process more imaginative or spiritual, and what are you trying to convey to your audience?
I have recently been asked in another interview if I consider myself a spiritual person. And I responded that I think everyone is, to a greater or lesser extent. But to me it depends on how you define spirituality. I would say that to me being spiritual means to maintain sensitivity, curiosity and innocence towards oneself, the world and the people around us. I don’t like the abuse that sorrounds spirituality, mostly the abuse of insecure, vulnerable people and of one’s own ego.
DNAngel is about our conflict between what we are born of and what we strive to be. I am not sure I could even make a difference between imaginative and spiritual, because, what else could spirituality be besides letting your mind explore your imagination of what and who we are? Regarding what I want to convey to my audience, what I am interested in is the contrast between visual patterns that might be considered religious and spiritual and to put that into a rather crude, uncanny context. I think this can create a really interesting atmosphere. Everyone has these spiritual images in their collective memory, and I try to reach them and take them into a new territory, maybe unexplored, untouched by themselves, to confront them and hopefully to revive their imagination.
What do the words failure and perfection mean to you, and is there any relation between the two in your opinion?
I think “perfection” is a very peculiar concept within humanity, the expression of “perfectionism” even more. “Perfectionism” is, in fact, a paradox, because obviously there is no such thing as perfection. Everything will reveal an imperfection under close observation, or just simply by the fact of having looked at it too long and too often. I am interested in how a system reacts to the invasion of a misplaced element, especially within the human mind. Irritating thoughts, a trauma, a recurring memory, how something you lived in your childhood can influence our whole adult life. It goes hand in hand with the question of how much in control we are of our own thoughts and of our evolution.
I am mostly interested and fascinated by imperfect things, damaged things, damaged people. They reveal and carry within an incredible beauty that perfection could never convey.
I asked the previous question partly because I read of your fascination with Origami which is an art-form that carries a symmetry and air of perfection unlike any other. In a sense, we as people are each searching for this balance, divinity, symmetry, and/or perfection in our own lives. Yet as your art shows, even with such symmetry there can be pain, imperfection, weakness, and/or failure hidden beneath. What else has Origami and art in general revealed to you about life?
I think origami is a wonderful symbol for the boundaries of our own perception. A limited being would only perceive a flat piece of paper, but a creative being is able to see beyond that and create a three dimensional, tangible shape. Origami unifies mathematics, the human mind and art in absolute harmony. It requires time and concentration and an immense capacity of abstract thinking. I really admire the people who master it.Â I am a very impatient person and I often critizise myself for maybe not taking sufficient time to observe things the way they are meant to, to truly understand their essence. But then, on the other hand, I appear to be a very mental person. I would like to find a balance somehow, to think things through thoroughly from the very beginning to the very end with absolute patience and consideration.
What above all other things gives you confirmation that by doing this artwork, you are on your path to your own personal perfection?
I would never consider myself on the path to perfection. Because if I could ever reach it, what would become of me then? I will never stop creating. I do it because i have to. The only confirmation that i need comes from the people who appreciate what i do. I will always feel thankful for that.
In your description of the Gold Is Made In Supernovae series, you made a comparison about the creation of something as precious and valuable as Gold being created from chaos and destruction. You said that this pattern is “recreated by the human race in it’s ongoing, violent pursuit of fortune and power.” At first sight of your artwork it seems to be something of another world. But thinking in terms of your words, one cannot help but to begin to draw his/her own similarities between the images you create, and the concepts and behaviors of our society. Is this what you intended to do in your work?
Yes absolutely. Sometimes when you put the facts of our reality in front of someone, they might recognize it with their intellect but not feel it, not understand it. But if you awaken their imagination, you can touch them at a very different, more vulnerable place and give them a rather amplified, maybe more painful but also more revealing vision of things, they might internalize it in a more sentimental way.
Manish Arora was able to use your artwork in a way that expanded your efforts and vision by exposing your work to the world of fashion. This must have been a huge honor for you. Are you inspired by other forms of expression, such as music for example, the same way as Manish was by yours?
There are so many things that I love and that I feel drawn towards, may it be music or cinema or literature. I am an absolutely unpretentious person when it comes to culture. The key is to see and enjoy a work for what it is, not for what you yourself would like it to be.
I can say that the Manish Arora Project was one of the most wonderful things that happened to me so far in my entire life. Having someone I admired myself telling me they loved my work was absolutely incredible. It was the first time I really felt a step closer to my dreams.
Is there a part of you that you intentionally hold back from expressing through your artwork? If so, why?
One will never know oneself entirely, so I can’t tell you the answer to that question… but hopefully I will find out in the future. If I do, I do it unintentionally; because as soon as you are holding back, your work is not as good as it could be.
What is the legacy you want to leave behind through your artwork?
I am just at the very start… I will pretend it will never end and just focus on each piece in the present moment. I think this is the only way to create a true legacy.
We truly appreciate Amrei spending the time with us.Â You can check out all of her work on her website here