Marla Hoffman


Part of Printmaking

“As a kid, I ate, slept and breathed art, thrilled to study sculpture with Louise Nevelson in Great neck and muralism in Mexico.  Before and after Cooper Union (BFA, 1967), I was in several group shows in the metropolitan area.  However, as a newly-independent adult, my driving forces were keeping a roof over my head and antiwar, tenant, and union organizing.  I co-chaired the Workshop for Peoples Art in the East Village where we produced posters and agit prop.  In 1974 I art-directed and shot the slides for The Unsung Woman, a multimedia celebration held on International Women’s Day at Casa de las Americas in Manhattan.  I worshiped Rivera and Siqueiros and was an ardent supporter of public art.  But my painting and sculpture were more personal, influenced by the Russian constructivists, David Smith, Al Held, Cezanne, Matisse.  The camera was my bridge between the personal and the social.  Back to school for an MFA (Brooklyn College, 1979).  Then back to earning a living.  In 1982 I moved to Havana to work as a journalist/translator.  Cuba was a visual paradise- tropical hues, lush flora, magical light, stupendous architecture, poignant faces.  Evenings I did printmaking at the Taller Experimental de Grafica in Old Havana.  Two of my etchings were included in the country’s first printmaking biennial in 1983.  After the birth of my son in 1985 and my return to work, creativity took a back seat.  I shot a gazillion baby/toddler and vacation pictures before my camera was stored away, and I embroidered a few bibs and tee shirts with the geometric designs that were floating around in my head.

“Returning to New York in 1991, employment was again top priority.  It was not until my son left for college in 2003 that I had- despite a 9-5 job- the time, energy and resources to delve back into art.  I began silversmithing.  And traveling: to Bermuda, rural upstate, the shore and right here in New York City, where capturing beauty with my canera became all-important.

Retirement in November 2010 and, suddenly, at age 65, I was fully immersed in art- drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, silversmithing- for the first time in my life.  January and February, 2011 in Mexico and Cuba, my lens was still focused on communicating the beauty, joy and mystery of two countries where I had spend such fruitful times.  January/February 2012 i did a series of monotypes at the Taller Cultural in Santiago de Cuba-while participating in a mural painting biennial- and at the Taller Experimental in Havana, photographing as I traveled from one end of the island to the other.”


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