ARTIST * AMREI HOFSTÄTTER * GERMANY
Amrei Hofstätter is an artist and illustrator currently living and working in Berlin. Her digitally created works are geometric hallucinations of a world in which mostly female bodies merge with shapes and objects. The result of their union are surreal hybrids, whose existential purpose seems to consist of nothing other than the unfolding of flesh and spirit, facing the finality of absolute abstraction. Ritual, magic and alchemical iconography come together in playful settings, only to later reveal topics such as desires, trauma and self-mutilation, which ultimately converge into a unique existential problem: the wish for transformation in conflict with the fear of failure, resulting in total disappearance and extinction.
Amrei has shown her work in various international exhibitions. Clients and collaborators include BMW, Vans, Front Row Society and Manish Arora.
The orbital rotation
What is your inspirational source?
Much like dreams, the creation and experience of art means processing the unconscious, thoughts, feelings, past and future...so naturally there’s a multiple of inspirational sources. Often it is single words with descriptive meanings that i come across in articles or stories. Usually these words are signifiers of certain concepts that appear to be existentialist and all encompassing. “Gravitational Collapse”, for instance. But most importantly, it causes a reaction, a thought process, a feeling or otherwise. So i start from there, and i build a world around it. I take it out of its familiar environment and place it elsewhere, into a space that is deeply human. Then i see what happens.
What are the most meaningful topics you try to represent in your work?
Disruption is something that i am really interested in. The reestablishing of a system after a disruptive event, self inflicted or external. How does the system integrate the invasion and reestablish itself afterwards, and as what. Like what would be the physical manifestation of a psyche that has been invaded, and maintains a trauma. How does one transform and make oneself familiar and comfortable with this new state of being. I think that is what i am trying to investigate most. What would a world look like in which the boundary between the unconscious and conscious has been breached. When you place your eyes very close to the face of someone you know and who you are deeply familiar with, their features become distorted and bizarre. I try to recreate this feeling..
How did you find your own style to create your digital work?
It’s important to remain engaged with oneself. Be humble. Your work should always be a reflection of your own evolution. Sometimes it might rely on softness, sometimes on pain, but no matter what, you have to treat it like an entity that demands respect. And that respect includes taking the time and practice to find your own identity.
We daresay that new media will soon fill the apparent dichotomy between art and technology, to assimilate one to each other: what’s your opinion about the relationship between art production and technology.
Technology has ceased being a tool and is starting to communicate, to give suggestions and it will eventually want to assert self-control. It will be interesting to see how we will behave once technology will start communicating as an autarkical conscious entity. And because human beings are lazy we might just comply and end up as sole curators of our robot overlord’s creative endeavours.
Some people think that digital artwork lacks essence because of the use of technological means to create, what would you tell them?
I would show them a very bad and tasteless painting and ask if they really think that the means are what should dictate the outcome.
How do social networks influence your work?
As we all know social networks are a really double edged sword. They are great means to facilitate dialogue and engagement, but of course the instant gratification is really dangerous. Now as soon as you finish a piece you become impatient to share it with the world and it’s really easy to fall into this trap of second guessing your value as an artist if you are not immediately rewarded with instant and quantitative validation. So i really need to keep my self worth apart from this dynamic and constantly remind myself that my work is not a chase for likes or followers.