- The Archives
One thing for certain about Matthew Hoffman’s work is that it is always thorough. From inception to presentation he instills patient consideration and unwavering craft, and his thoroughness doesn’t stop with what can be seen on the wall. He continues beyond the object, creating an intriguing mise-en-scene of fact and fiction through the fabrication of artist pseudonyms. That final flourish of the signature at the end of every work is almost never his own. In effect, he spends a lot of time putting himself into what he does, and then attempts to remove himself, at least temporarily, through a miasma of aliases. This self erasure produces a strange chaos, a game that is more than an obvious trick and more than a deliberate deception. In an attempt to deviate from these norms, Hoffman creates work behind a smoke screen of pseudonyms. Not that he is against success, he just wants it on his terms. All this bickering amongst fictitious personalities brings me to a common impetus for all of Hoffman’s characters: spirited imagination, a proclivity for pretend, an attempt to move beyond the ordinary and make life a little more adventurous. Sure, you could produce disparate artworks all under the same name, but where’s the fun in that? Where is the mystery? Would Andy Kaufman’s cantankerous alter ego have as much impact if there was no mystery as to whom he was? Of course, no matter how disparate these pseudonymous artists become they are always linked by an underlying rhizomatic thread, Hoffman himself; with his own interests and concerns.
Written by Alaska Noyes, Edited by H. Mathis.
“Sup” which media was listed as “Wood & Attitude” consisted of a 4 foot circle of solid wood hanging on the wall. The initial concept consisted of an extremely large shape, with a tiny phrase in the lower portion. A sort of white space use, though using wood—one could say Wood Space.* The piece was to be overly ornamental and non functional, almost an excess of unusable material. (Though for all you carbon footprint folks, the piece was made out of sustainable bamboo). During the opening of the exhibition, more than a few viewers said, “I loved your sup table” leaving me to realize I didn’t have the slightest notion of what was up.
*Wood Space is Trademark of Multi Polar Project Industries. All Rights Reserved.
I’m Just Getting Started. The storefront installation revolved around the poem “A Smattering Of The Now” written for the exhibition poster. The pieces included were a remix of work from over the last 5 years. From quiet contemplation (“sometimes words are not enough”) to light hearted shout outs (“ooooohhhhhhhhhhh I get it”) the works spread across the gamut of emotion. Some of the pieces were repurposed into new hybrid works, hanging, leaning & nailed to the walls, and fully encompassing the space. A hanging beacon of light above the space simply read “4eva”. The title “I’m just getting started” is looking back at the past, and gearing up for what is next. Opportunities are endless, and the future is very bright.
A Smattering Of The Now:
he is a moment
a smattering of the now
frozen in time
He doesn’t know exactly
what he’s doing
(just his best)
& it’s good
it’s hard to understand
all the melting and fusing
of this new era
but it’s possible
that originality and amazement
He’ll look back in great nostalgia
Hey, it’s Matthew…Hoffman. Who? Exactly. Over the last ten or so years, I have intentionally worked in various secretive and complex methods. Weaving an intricate and often fascinating story line of pseudonyms, companies, projects, and secret societies that would find even the most careful observer unable to see the entire picture at any one given time. Myself included.
With fresh eyes, and a new perspective, I’m taking a personal approach to showing you what I do and how it all ties together. As a launch pad to this new way of working, I’ve created a new series of pieces & products. It’s chock-full of one liners and immediate thoughts. If it made me chuckle out loud, caused my eyes open wider than my tired gaze, or to call a friend to say: listen to this stupid idea… It made the cut. In addition, I will be pulling together past projects, and attempting to map out this seemingly elaborate puzzle…For the both of us. Time is short, excuses are easy. Make the moments count, and go for it.
Storefront window: various