Xander Hoffman: Virtual Relics

Vague Promises of Treasure is pleased to announce Virtual Relics, an exhibition of work by Manchester-based painter Xander Hoffman (b.1993). On view from December 3rd – January 5th, 2023, the artist will be in attendance for an opening reception on Saturday, December 3rd, from 5 to 9 pm at our pop up location in Beverly Hills, CA (8634 Wilshire Blvd). 

Working within the field of traditional painting, Hoffman explores the phenomenon of screen based experiences, recording with paradoxical precision of brief glimpses of reality, turning the ethereal glimmer of screens into a weighty, physical presence. In creating a memoriam for screen based imagery, Hoffman has faithfully carried on and expanded onto the legacy of the Impressionists in their attempts to capture pervading light, preserving the ghostly and burnished images that live on through pauses, screenshots or jagged low res video files. The action of painting, in preserving the tactility of both light and the process of creating digital images through pixels, becomes the mode of which Hoffman confirms the reality that whimsical, glowing light lives among us.

I see my work as an exploration into screen-oriented and data based imagery, I am creating physical records for intangible moments experienced through technology- I believe it is entirely possible, and perhaps likely, that paintings may outlast digital media. These moments vary from interactions with computer programmes or devices, to observed moments in film. I find the moiré pattern through screens to be like a conversation between two machines, in my paintings I try to transcribe this interaction, as though I am attempting to decipher a foreign language. 

The transient nature of light-based imagery is of particular interest to me; both in terms of constant technological advancement, and the fluid nature of light as a medium. I intend to give these impermanent images a physicality, so that they no longer of the screen. I believe a fleeting digital moment inherits a physical ‘past’ through the action of painting, evolving as it is painted. I choose to illustrate the weightlessness of digital imagery by painting on thin sheets of aluminium or steel, attached to concealed mounts, as though the pieces are floating jpeg files. —Xander Hoffman

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