Aimee Hofmann (b. 1976, New York)

Bio:

Aimee Hofmann is an abstract artist who has been painting for 16 years. 

Hofmann is a New York native, born in Long Island and raised in the suburbs of Queens.  Throughout her childhood, she was always drawn to the arts.  She played the piano and practiced dance.  Along with her love of the stage, she sketched portraits.  Aside from seeing the details of the human face as fascinating, she found drawing to be cathartic and an escape from the pressures of adolescent life. 

In '98, Hofmann earned a BS degree from the Stern School of Business at New York University.  After graduating, she landed positions in marketing and public relations, but did not feel fulfilled.  After a year of living overseas, in Switzerland, she gained a new perspective-- to be more present and connected to nature.

In search for an artistic outlet, she became involved in creative industries, i.e., make-up artistry and acting.  Suddenly, in 2006, she suffered from the neurological condition, Transverse Myelitis, an inflammation in the spinal cord that caused permanent paralysis from level T10 of the spine.  The hospital, where she was a patient, offered a therapeutic art program which prompted Hofmann to start painting in her hospital bed during her two-month stay.  After learning she would never walk again, it was art that, ultimately, gave her peace during the difficult stages of loss, grief, self-reflection and self-discovery.  Art helped her emotionally heal, as well as find joy again.  Throughout the years that followed, while facing life with a disability, she created a number of collections.  Her earlier work featured landscapes, florals or swirl patterns which have continued to evolve into more abstract work. 

In 2019, as a permanent resident of Westchester County (for 11 years), Hofmann began a more disciplined art practice.  During the peak of the pandemic, she started to market, sell her paintings online and work on commissions.  She considers herself mainly a self-taught artist, but constantly has the desire to learn, grow and evolve.  Various workshops educated her about color, technique and composition.  In addition, she has been practicing to “let go” and be freer while creating her latest collection.  Her work has been exhibited at Carriage Barn Arts Center, Jamestown Arts Center, Blue Door Arts Center and Rye Arts Center.  Hofmann is a wife, mother of two, hand-cyclist marathoner, swimmer and an occasional school speaker. As a disabilities advocate, she has raised funds for the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, in effort to find cures for paralysis.

  

 Artist Statement: 

"After floods of emotions came with acquiring a sudden disability, I started to re-evaluate concepts of time: the past, present and future.  Nostalgia of the past, specifically, the 80's decade and era of my youth, has had the most impact on me.  Not only am I attracted to the bright colors, the energy, music and fashion of that era but it is the memories of little moments of time during my childhood, when I was physically free, that have left vivid imprints in my mind.  It brings up a playful and joyful energy that is evident in my work.  

My latest collection entitled, “Verve: Unfiltered,” (Merriam Webster definition of verve:  a. the spirit and enthusiasm animating artistic composition b. energy, vitality) features multiple layers of paint in different textures.  The freely poured, splattered paints are an expression of letting go and the recovery of my lifelong battle with perfectionism.  The experimentation of allowing different consistencies of paint to organically interact and react with one another reflects my acceptance of all events that are happening in the present (that we cannot control).  I have a new appreciation for the beauty of imperfections, mishaps, chaos and brokenness.  As layers are built upon one another, certain parts of each underlayer are always revealed to show every stage of the piece’s history.  Just as art imitates life, our past experiences, history and evolution are important elements that make up who we are.

There is a newfound courage expressed in “Verve” after I came to the realization that there is nothing to fear because the future will always be uncertain, regardless.  Recently, I’ve had more trust to let go of control over future outcomes.  My process is no longer result-driven, but rather initiated by intuition, allowing the piece to naturally evolve.  However, more conscious decisions are made regarding the composition as a piece is being finalized.  I always like a certain amount of balance and symmetry, albeit ‘imperfect’ and never too structured. 

I am constantly fascinated by the shape of the swirl which I have been doodling since childhood.  The evolution of these swirls reflect both my personal and artistic growth.  The designs began as structured and defined, and then have evolved into looser, more deconstructed patterns, once again, indicating my letting go of control.  The swirls, to me, are a symbol of life’s continuity or the idea that everything eventually comes full circle.  They lead the viewer’s eyes on a journey around the painting and then back to where they started -- similar to the twists, turns, ups and downs of life.

Courage has also prompted me to use an array of techniques and unconventional tools, i.e, brushes of different widths and lengths (an 8” wide house-paint brush or a 28” long home-made brush), spatulas, the wheels from my wheelchair or a pouring bucket.  As a result, there is a juxtaposition of contrasts within one piece.  Graceful, round brushstrokes may be painted near straight grid-like drip patterns or track marks.  Freely splattered paint may be layered over defined swirls.  My work challenges the co-existence of perfectionism vs. imperfection, control vs. release, intentional vs. incidental, grit vs. grace and light vs. dark, which may also be the various states that we struggle with during our lives.     

There are recurring themes which show up repeatedly in my work.  I’m drawn to all the characteristics of water, an element that is constantly flowing, changing  and soothing, yet powerful.  Paralysis, in many ways, has made me feel physically trapped and being in water is where I feel free.  I express this physical freedom on canvas as wild, gestural marks.  Since I’m physically on the artwork while creating, completely immersed, there are always details in the final piece which are a result of my physical condition.  The track marks and smeared paints are inevitable from constant run-overs by the wheelchair.  Loose brushstroke patterns are the result of using a 28” long brush- both an adaptive and an artistic tool.    

Inclusivity is another recurring theme in my work.  Recently, I’ve been incorporating bright neon colors, larger brushstrokes and unique track marks.  This may be a reaction to my own personal experience of not always being heard or included, as an Asian female with a disability, in this society.  Making bold artistic choices are my ways of taking up space, being loud and being seen this world.  It symbolizes the importance of embracing uniqueness and how each part/individual is a valuable member of a whole." -- A.H.  

C.V.:

DEGREES/CONTINUED EDUCATION               

Associates Degree: College of Art and Science, New York University, 1996

Bachelor of Science Degree: Stern School of Business, New York University, 1998

NYC Crit Club, Visiting Critic Program with Jared Linge, 2022

NYC Crit Club, Independent Study Program with Catherine Haggarty, 2022

Carriage Barn Arts Center, The Art of Letting Go with Linda Colletta, 2021 

Better Than Art School with Amira Rahim, 2020

EXHIBITIONS              

Rye Arts Center: Rye’s Above, June 2021

Blue Door Arts Center: My Super Power (juried), June 2021

Carriage Barn Arts Center: Art in Windows (juried), June 2021

Carriage Barn Arts Center: Annual Members Show, September 2021

Carriage Barn Arts Center: Deck the Walls, November 2021                                  

Rye Arts Center: Annual Members Show, December 2021   

Jamestown Arts Center: Reassessment and Wonder (juried), March 2022

         * Listen/read the statement on the mural, "Journey of Life" 🔗: JAC

Larchmont Art on the Avenues: April 2022

Serendipity Labs: Solo Exhibition, June 2022

REPRESENTATION/PLATFORMS:

ArtLifting

Saatchi Art

LECTURES/PANELS:

Harvard Business School with ArtLifting CEO, Liz Powers, 2022

Bucket List Careers Podcast with former anchor, Christa de Lauri, 2022

Burke Rehabilitation Center, Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month, 2022

William E. Cottle Elementary School, Building Bridges Program 2018, 2019, 2020, 2022

PRIVATE COLLECTIONS:

Burke Rehabilitation Center Fine Art Collection; White Plains, NY

PUBLICATIONS/MEDIA:

Westchester Magazine: "The Art of Healing," December 2020 

Westchester Home Magazine: "The State of the Artists," Spring 2022

Channel 12 News

COLLABORATIONS:

Atelier Modern Boutique; Larchmont NY

Serendipity Labs; White Plains, NY

FAIRS/POP-UP EVENTS:

The Other Art Fair; Brooklyn, NY, November 2022

David Burke's 1776 Restaurant Art + Dining Experience; NJ, July 2022

914 Pop Ups/Levitate Creative Services; Eastchester, NY, January 2022

Global Empowerment Mission/BStrong Ukraine Benefit; White Plains, NY, April 2022  

Bartlett Arboretum Earth Day Festival; Stamford, CT, April 2022