The Person You were Is Good For You2021, 210 x 180 cm
Cathrin Hoffmann, born 1984 Germany, lives in Hamburg

In her work, Hoffmann reimagines the body to explore and question what it means to be human in the post-digital age. The anthropomorphic figures that dominate her paintings appear like contortionists, twisted and strained they grapple with the cornerstones of our earthly existence - life and death, pain and pleasure, love and loss, and isolation and connection. In Hoffmann's words: "I create a new virtual body, with its weaknesses and idiosyncrasies, to probe what our present time with modern technology, digitization, and hyper capitalism has made us become?
How do we exist and behave? What is human, what remains?"

Hoffmann's deeply personal visions are realised through a paradoxical engagement with and rejection of digital painting. She begins by mapping out a composition digitally using a graphic tablet, before exchanging the seamless result for an analogue translation where the physical traces of the artist are present. Says Hoffmann, "I am attracted by the ambivalence between perfection and imperfection. My digital work is bright polished and perfect, as soon as I try to reproduce this, I realise it is impossible. It is this area in between that interests me, the perfectly imperfect."
Joining an intimate process of self-reflection with a collective anxiety about the present moment, Hoffmann visualises and critiques our odourless existence within an increasingly online world - a virtual environment which impacts the way we see and are seen, or not seen at all.

Text by Harry Dougall

The Artbarn
January 15 – April 30, 2022

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