Julius Hofmann: Woman With Lemon

Julius Hofmann

Artwork’s Title: Woman with lemon

Material Used: Acrylics on Canvas

Studio Based: Lower Saxony (Germany)

Julius Hoffmann, Woman With Lemon, 2021, 100 x 80 cm, acrylics on canvas

Can you tell us about the process of making your work?

It’s both calculation and intuition, and a lot of routine and discipline involved, but generally it’s highly process based. I seldom get what’s on my mind from the start, (or change my opinion about it later on) so things transform in between, these struggles are not very efficient, and sometimes I leave empty-handed. But, – that’s is what keeps me going, and I believe without a playful adventurous approach, the outcome also isn’t that entertaining.

How would you define your work in a few words (ideally in 3 words)?

Purple Rain Dungeons.

Could you share with us some insights on your ‘Woman With Lemon’, (2021) painting? Is there any particular story behind this new work?

„Woman with Lemon“ is the one of newest works. The picture is based on the portrait painting of the 17th century. The face plays a subordinate role here and is practically non-existent.

What interests me more about this picture is actually making the surfaces and structures have a haptic effect.

My wife is very fashion-conscious, I don’t really care. Nevertheless, I am fascinated when people think so much about their clothes and style. To me it often seems like the person is putting on armor. The dress in the picture is a mixture of armor and architecture. The chest area looks like it is molded in concrete. And the Fabric is definitely not smoothly flowing, maybe more carved in purple marble.

Hues and shades of purple, grey, white and black seem to dominate the colour palette of your recent body of your work; what does this colour combination mean to you?

This question relates to the first one, – but in a different direction. There was a bit too much experimentation going on, in the beginning. Over time I say this have been necessary steps to learn the foundations and find you place. But over the years you realize, there isn’t enough time left to handle all these possible variations in depth, and this is only in the field of painting. It’s virtually limitless what you can do today in any art form, but instead of enriching the creative process, it leaves people with the feeling of missing out. So at some point, I put myself into a kind of voluntary “Sandbox”, and started working in series. These self erected borders, like mentioned colour restriction, are a useful tool to not get overwhelmed in options.

Aesthetics based on video games and computer graphics have remarkably shaped your painterly themes on canvas whose their main material used are acrylics. Would you be interested in creating paintings while using digital techniques, applications or tools in the future or would you rather keep working on more traditional art techniques?

Actually they already are in use, As most of my generation I grew up as an avid Computer user long time before having it connected to the Internet. So all these perfect shiny digital surfaces we take for granted today, – in its infancy- looked like a miracle to me back then. When machines got more affordable, I started doing CGI Movies, and doing 3d drafts of paintings. Its an fruitful ongoing dialogue between the oldest and most modern media invented by mankind.

Your body of work reflect a vivid array of gothic, military or even grotesque compositions on your canvases. Where does this creatively darker atmosphere come from?

Hard to say in words, maybe it’s the authors melancholic mood which gets imprinted onto each painting, independent of what the motif. Sure, I choose these elements because I am fascinated with them, and I can analyze it in hindsight somehow, but it’s mostly a vehicle, as I am more interested in the “how” than the “what”. For me, these sometimes morbid depictions are a form of managing my own (but universal) fears. While getting materialized in the brushwork, these inner threatening images loose their power, and instead you gain control over them, which is quite amusing I find.

What would be the best way to exhibit your work?

Rather classic. White clean space.

Can you mention any artists you, lately or generally, take inspiration from?

It’s a large field, often not painting related, movies, early 3d Games and music, mainly. When it comes to painting, -which seems to the central topic of your magazine,- the biggest influence might obviously be the German “Neue Sachlichkeit” (new objectivity) now nearly 100 years ago.

But more recently I was really in love with AI generated images, – this field has vastly improved since google deep dream. As a traditionally trained painter we had this speculation (Potential of AI Art) over and over, now we have proof: In many many Areas which where considered important qualities of human craftsmanship, the computer left us in the dust. This doesn’t mean there is no point in doing painting anymore, quite the opposite, but maybe some goals should be shifted.

What about the place where you work? What’s your studio space look like?

There are two of them. 1st one is full of tools and paint buckets. It’s not that tidy. I work on multiple paintings in parallel. 2nd is a bit cleaner, this where I am doing the graphic Computer Stuff and Lithographs, it looks more like an office space.

Which are your plans for the near future?

Will continue in that “purple dominating” color scheme. Wished I had more time for computer animation, but there are multiple painting shows planned, – so being in the studio will consume most of it. Closest date (May 2022) will be a premier solo show in Milano at Plan X Gallery.

Additional Paintings

Julius Hofmann, Strepmes, 2020, 190 x 270 cm, acrylics on canvas
Julius Hofmann, Étranger, 2021,190 x 120 cm, acrylics on canvas
Julius Hofmann, Caracas, 60 x 80 cm, acrylics on canvas
Julius Hofmann, C.A.T., 2021, 190 x 120 cm, acrylics on canvas
Julius Hofmann, „Young hearts of Europe S“, „Young hearts of Europe M“, „Young …. XL“, 2021
Julius Hofmann, Poupées, 2020, Acryl auf Leinwand, 290 x 190 cm



All images courtesy of the artist

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