Artist's Statement 2012

I make things that are true-to-life and made to last. For example, people are cut out of metal, and have knees and elbows. Even dreams, memories and the distant past must be made into real places that can be visited at will. I want to walk around the block, knock on a door and enter my dreams. A photo of a dream becomes a record of a real event. Photos enshrined in brass-bound books are more true than a single photo in a frame. A thousand years from now, someone will find my brass book in a heap of rubble and wonder “what does this mean?” Making that book out of brass and copper takes much longer than paper, but it also makes the book more real and unchanging.

Artist's Statement 2011

Last year's Cretaceous dreams are subsiding, Zymoglyphic dreams are filling in: visions of books and collage rise up in my mind day and night, possibly triggered by too much time spent in the darkroom.

Artist's Statement 2010

The projects I'm working on right now are inspired by Cretaceous dreams and my fascination with building pinhole cameras and taking photos with them.

Artist's Statement 2006

It’s very hard to write an artist’s statement. What can I say? I love the materials and the processes? I do, but there’s much more. I could say that I started making art as a kid, drawing in books and getting in trouble in school for doodling everyone’s initials into a little picture. That’s amusing, but not what drives my art today. If it weren’t for the pull of the content in my work, I wouldn’t be making art now. As I get older, I realize more and more that for me the power of making things isn’t about ideas, materials or processes. It’s about the emotional content. Art is my spiritual life. With art, I can imagine where we come from before we’re born, and where we go when we die.

Artist's Statement, 1998

The Birth of the Universe

A fish swims in the night sky. 
She has a human face and breasts.
The universe is born from her mouth, 
flowing like water, filling all of space. 
The universe is salty and dark, 
spangled with tiny plankton and crabs, 
stars and planets with moons. 
The fish swallows the moons and the stars for nourishment, 
then gives birth to more moons and more stars. 
People are born as constellations in the flow from her mouth. 
They have stars in their hair and on their skin. 
They are part fish and live in the sea. 
Dreams form around them in dark clouds. 
They dream of slowly turning in the starry sky 
with the earth spinning below. 
They dream of living on the moon, 
with tiny sea creatures floating in the sky. 
They dream of the time when the fish will swallow them. 
They dream of the still night. 

Artist's Statement 1990

Did I dream last night of a game children play where they win when their shadows are gone? I have an image of standing near a tree trunk, raising my arms into the air, and seeing my shadow change into the shadow of a tree. But then it got to be evening, the stars came out, and we all won.

My shadow
My shadow is the reverse of my life form,
a sea-sky dark shape
I could be absorbed back into
when I die.

Judith Hoffman ©1990-2012

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