Sep 15, 2011

PROFILE | Joshua Hoffine | Fairy Tale Nightmare

Joshua Hoffine, Wolf, photograph, 2003

I started by researching artists that would give a certain shock value, which I love seeing people’s reactions to things and testing the boundaries of their minds. I looked at several different artists and remembered a magazine I bought for collage work that had I never used. In the magazine Rue Morgue: Horror in Culture & Entertainment there was an article about the photographer Joshua Hoffine. The article is titled “The Giant Spider, The Candymaker, And The Wolf With Hands” written by Jovanka Vuchovic in the March 2009 issue.

Joshua Hoffine, Candy, photograph, 2005
Joshua Hoffine’s genre is horror photography, so if you could imagine all of your worst nightmares when you were a child, every little thing you were afraid of, and every scary childhood story you were told you would get Joshua Hoffine’s subject matter. His influences include: his children, his own childhood memories, fairy tales, horror films, Jungian Psychology, and Joseph Campbell. Joshua Hoffine’s photography is more than just “disturbing” and “morbid” photographs; instead he takes horror photography to a new level and focuses on “the psychology of fear”. This concept ties into the Jungian Psychology and according to the philosopher Carl Jung most fears dwell in our unconscious mind. In this article, the entrancing photographer states:
“When a viewer is frightened by one of my images, it is because the image has allowed the viewer to experience a ‘projection’ from their own ‘shadow self,’ their own ‘personal unconscious,’” he answers, “They are remembering something that they used to be frightened of by had forgotten about. They are re-experiencing a fear that has been repressed since childhood.”
Joshua Hoffine, Bed, photograph, 2005
For Hoffine’s photos he wants them to seem “as realistic as possible”, which means his images are not done with photoshop. He makes these elaborate sets that take weeks to months at a time to set up completely. On Joshua Hoffine's website he affirms, “I stage my photo shoots like small movies, with sets, costumes, elaborate props, fog machines, and special effects make-up. Everything is acted out live in front of the camera. I use friends and family members, including my own daughters, as actors and crew.”
Joshua Hoffine, Phobia, photograph, 2003
His first photograph was “Phobia”(fear of spiders) in October 2003, and two weeks later he made the photograph “Wolf”(Little Red Riding Hood). Hoffine has many more photographs focusing on a range of fears: “Balloons” (fear of clowns), “Closet” (fear of a monster in the closet), “Candy” (Hansel and Gretel), and many more which can all be found on his website.
Hoffine had an exhibition called “A Love Craft: Art Inspired by Monsters, Madness and Mythos” in the Observatory in Brooklyn, New York. This exhibition was on view from July 11, 2010 till July 23, 2010. Hoffine also had another exhibition later that year at Sacred Gallery in New York, NY. The exhibition was called “Blood, Sweat, and Fears” and was on view from October 2, 2010 till October 31, 2010. Hoffine has future plans to publish a book and also hopefully make his own movie. Many fans including myself cannot wait to see what he can do in the film industry.
Joshua Hoffine, Swarm, photograph, 2005

-Krista Jackson



  2. Awesome interpetation krista j. Abilene sure misses u!

  3. I absolutely loved this post! I was defiantly taken back to my childhood fears in reading this post! I also found it very interesting that he chooses to stage his photographs rather than to just manipulate them in photoshop. By doing it this way and knowing it before looking at his work I realized I was paying very close attention to the details in his sets.... And wondering how he did most of it. I also think that because he uses his own family and friends it makes his work more personal. I really enjoyed reading this post!

    -Jessica Aviles