Ruan Hoffmann: Postcards from Myself

Artist Ruan Hoffmann travels a lot – around his native South Africa, to the Netherlands, to Paris and to San Francisco.

He’s got a huge following worldwide. Those who know his artwork see its huge psychological and emotional gamut, with some parts utterly beautiful and others dark and somber.

“He really drills down into every facet of the human psyche, from joy to sadness,” says Deborah Osburn.

Osburn’s been working with Hoffmann to create a new kind of tile that merges old encaustic cement with new lithographic technology.

The result is a bright, boldly-patterned and infinite array of tiles, for residential and commercial use.

“Vibrant doesn’t capture it – it’s vibrant but it has depth,” she says. “It’s a nuanced sort of experience and the most vivid tile you can imagine.”

Hoffmann’s newest line reflects his worldwide travels. He calls it “Postcards from Myself.” Each tile began as a pattern painted upon a six-inch by six-inch piece of cardboard.

Osburn and the artisans at her firm, clé tiles, take high-resolution images of his art and lithograph them on to white cement tiles.

“The results are absolutely stunning,” she says.

Homeowners are using them for backsplashes and table tops. An upscale hotelier is applying them to his powder rooms. Collectors are snapping them up.

Maybe that’s because they skip the somber side of Hoffmann’s perspective.

“His “Postcards” are pure joy,” she says. “And they’re not just frivolity, but the joy that comes from wisdom.”

Whatever it is, they certainly have their own quirky and universal appeal.

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