Aimee Hofmann (b. 1976, New York)
Aimee Hofmann is an abstract artist who has been painting for nearly 17 years.
Hofmann is a New York native, raised in the suburbs of Queens. Throughout her childhood, she was always drawn to the arts. She played the piano, practiced dance and sketched portraits. Aside from finding the details of the human face as fascinating, she found drawing to be cathartic and an escape from the pressures of adolescent life.
At age 18, Hofmann moved to Manhattan and 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 from the toxic environments. In 2000, longing for a life change, Hofmann married, left NYC and lived in Switzerland for one year. Living overseas opened her to a new culture and a new perspective on life. The surroundings of the grand Alps, lush greenery and crystal-like lakes inspired her to become more present and connect to nature, unaware that these experiences would be future inspiration when art would return into her life. After relocating back to NYC, Hofmann was adamant about not returning to the corporate world.
Suddenly, in 2006, she suffered from the neurological condition, Transverse Myelitis, an inflammation in the spinal cord that caused complete paralysis from level T10 of the spine. NYU 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 a new life with a disability, she created a number of collections. Her works featured landscapes, florals and swirl patterns which have continued to evolve deeper into more abstract work.
At the end of 2019, as a permanent resident of Westchester County (for 12 years), Hofmann began a more disciplined art practice. During the pandemic, she started to market, sell her paintings online and work on commissions for residences. Although she is mainly a self-taught artist, she constantly had the desire to learn and evolve. She further educated herself about color, technique and composition through art workshops taught by acclaimed, female artists she admired. Her most recent collections express a newfound freedom and release.
Aside from being honored to become a part of the Montefiore Fine Art Collection, some other collections include Amazon, JPMorgan Chase & Co., PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ipsen and Vigil Neuroscience. Hofmann’s work has exhibited at the Carriage Barn Arts Center, Jamestown Arts Center, Blue Door Arts Center and Rye Arts Center and has participated in various art fairs, such as The Other Art Fair.
Hofmann is a wife, mother of two children, hand-cyclist marathoner, avid swimmer and an occasional school speaker. She has raised significant funds for the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, in effort to find cures for paralysis. As a disabilities advocate, her goal is to create awareness about inclusion and fair representation through her art.
"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.: Click on live links to listen/watch/read.
Associates Degree: College of Art and Science, New York University, 1996
Bachelor of Science Degree: Stern School of Business, New York University, 1998
Better Than Art School with Amira Rahim, 2020
Carriage Barn Arts Center, The Art of Letting Go with Linda Colletta, 2021
NYC Crit Club, Visiting Critic Program with Jared Linge, 2022
NYC Crit Club, Independent Study Program with Catherine Haggarty, 2022
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
* Statement on the mural, "Journey of Life" 🔗: JAC
Larchmont Art on the Avenues: April 2022
Serendipity Labs: Solo Exhibition, June 2022
CLIENT PRIVATE COLLECTIONS:
Amazon; Arlington, VA
Burke Rehabilitation, Montefiore; White Plains, NY
Vigil Neuro; Watertown, MA
Ipsen; Boston, Massachusetts
JP Morgan; New York, NY
Hesnor Engineering Associates; Albany NY
Blue Rock Therapeutics, Cambridge, MA
Harvard Business School, 🔗 "Disability is Diversity" with ArtLifting and Google, 2022
🔗 Bucket List Careers Podcast with former anchor, Christa Lauri, 2022
Burke Rehabilitation Center, Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month, 2022
William E. Cottle Elementary School, Building Bridges Program 2018,'19, '20, '22
Westchester Magazine: 🔗 "The Art of Healing," December Issue 2020
Westchester Home Magazine: 🔗 "The State of the Artists," Spring Issue 2022
Channel 12 News: 🔗 "Rye Artist Defies All Odds to Take on her Passion" 2023
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 Benefit; White Plains, NY, April 2022
Bartlett Arboretum Earth Day Festival; Stamford, CT, April 2022
Rye Arts Festival; Rye, NY, May 2023