When making a salad I often become greedy over the choice of ingredients on offer. The multitude of leaves, the bounty of fruit and veg (with the option of meat too) and don’t even get me started on dressings. The problem is I pile everything into a bowl and it’s a clash of tastes and colours ruining my healthy choice. While this clearly doesn’t work with food, there is a skill in doing it in artwork.
Talita Hoffmann is a good example of this in her detailed paintings that draw upon a vast bank of subjects such as animals, plants, rural structures, musical instruments and tools among others. Combined with narratives of healing, misfortune, death and conflict, you think her works would be overwhelming and busy, but somehow all these elements fall together seamlessly.
Based in Brazil, her work does feel exotic and foreign, as though we’re looking at folk paintings. It’s the earthy colours and simple style in her landscapes that emphasise this and draw me in more. By questioning everyday life, it means there are glimmers of some darker moments but this helps prevent her work from becoming twee.
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