Tom Hofmann, born 1973, is advertising photographer, graphic designer and visual artist. He lives and works in Vienna, Austria/Europe.

 

His photography centers on the erotic, including fetish and bondage images. Although experimental and conceptual images excite him, “everyday” themes are just as intriguing for him. He envisions his work as extracted frames from a movie, chosen to dramatize the intensity of the moment presented. His work is captured in a way that allows for single frames to stand alone and speak for themselves but also for combined frames to come together and bring a new perspective through the story being shown.

Tom Hofmann became interested in photography at a young age because his father was a photographer who filled the majority of his life with all things related to cameras and film. Hofmann recalls empty film cartridges at home being everywhere; eventually they became his beloved toys. He received his first camera, a Konica C35 EF3, at the age of twelve. From that moment on, his passion began to sprout from the seed of his childhood fascination. Hofmann’s commitment to his hobby grew in his teenage years, when he spent increasingly large amounts of time in his father’s studio and darkroom.

Hofmann began an apprenticeship at the age of 16 with a professional photo lab which helped develop and hone his technical photography skills. After finishing his apprenticeship, he began working in his father‘s studio. From this point on, he had the full studio at his disposal for his artistic work. Polaroid and Fuji film soon became a part of his film repertoire, although at the time, they were used just for proofing lighting and composition.

In 1995 Hofmann gave digital photography a try. At first he was fascinated - but he soon found that he was losing his sense of joy for photography. His digital work seemed to him artificial; film shooting and development with their magical aura were abruptly lost. Digital photogrpahy and post-processing led him into advertising and graphic design, still his principal activities today. More and more, however, he felt he had lost his ability to pursue artistic activities due to his diminishing leisure time and his daily work as an art director.

In 2011 Hofmann discovered Impossible Project instant films: again he felt his artistic instinct had been ignited. He purchased an SX-70 Model 3 with a couple of packs of instant film and began his experimentation. In the Summer of 2012 Hofmann planned his first artistic photo shoot: analog film was back in his life.


He has shown his work in various exhibitions, has been featured in the book „Raw Beauties – A Polaroid Project“, in Magazines (PRYME, Séparée) and a number of times in „Photodarium“ (a tear-off calendar that reveals a new instant photo each day).


What participants

tell about attending

my workshop

'signifying or

signifying nothing' 



Georg Barkas about Tom Hofmann – foreword to the self-published book 'concepts   life   erotic   bondage'

(Barkas holds a master’s degree in mathematical physics, and pursued a PhD in history and philosophy of science in Vienna and Berlin. His research was and is strongly influenced by the French poststructuralist movement. In 2014, Barkas quit academia to become a professional artist, educator, writer and researcher in the field of Japanese Rope Art.)


When I was first asked by my dear friend Tom Hofmann to write a foreword to his collection of photographic works, I said to myself that it is an interesting task. I like the idea of a textual foreword to a book without words. The most interesting part for me is the question of what a foreword in this special case could look like. I wished to avoid a mere description of the pictures, and I do not want to tell the ‘reader’ what they will find in the book as this would rob them of the opportunity to form their own opinions. Furthermore, the collection of Tom’s photographic art is so diverse that it is hard to find the continuity which is so often demanded in various fields of art. At the same time, it is exactly this lack of continuity which makes it so interesting.

 

What, then, should I include in a foreword? I looked through the collection in Tom’s first draft and found my route in one of the pictures.

 

That one specific picture is a violent attack on the reader. It is one that screams that something is wrong, not only with the picture but with the world. In it, the borders between signifier and signified become almost indistinct. In the picture, a book is visible – Helmut Lethen’s “Der Schatten des Fotografen” or “The photographer’s shadow”. (Incidentally, Helmuth Lethen knows of his book’s appearance in Tom’s picture.) Lethen’s book shows the reader what is laying behind the pictures without setting up a fixed opinion about the picture itself. It tells us who the reader of pictures could be and who the author of a picture is.

 

The picture with the book and the book in the picture convinced me not to try to describe Tom Hofmann’s pictures, but to encourage the reader to rather look behind his incredibly diverse collection. In “concepts | life | erotic | bondage”, Tom Hofmann tells us who he might be.

 

Together, through their disconnectedness, the pictures show the shadow of the photographer – the shadow of Tom Hofmann. And it is, to me, an interesting and beautiful shadow.           (Georg Barkas, May 2017)


Exhibitions:

2003: Group Exhibition > WUK, Vienna

2012: Participant > iso600 Festival della Fotografia Istantanea Milano, Italy

2013: Participant > 8×10 Selección - Impossible Project Space Barcelona, Spain

2013: Participant > MIA Milan Image Art Fair, Italy

2013: Group Exhibition > Prexer Łódź, Poland

2014: Group Exhibition > Wanrooij Gallery Amsterdam, Netherlands

2014: Participant > Fotofever Art Fair, Paris

2015: Solo Exhibition > III. Viennese Rope Festival, Vienna

2019: Group Exhibition > Galerie Art Pool, Vienna


Publications:

2012: Participant > Photodarium

2013: Participant > Photodarium

2014: Participant > Raw Beauties | A Polaroid Project

2015: Participant > Photodarium

2015: Participant > PRYME Magazine, Issue #4, prymeeditions.com

2015: Feature > Séparée Magazine, Issue #6, separee.com

2016: Participant > Photodarium

2016: 12-page couple photo series > Séparée Magazine, Issue #9, separee.com

2017: Participant > Photodarium Private

2017: Monograph > self published, print-on-demand, concepts life erotic bondage

2018: Participant > Photodarium Private

2018: Project Zine > self published, print-on-demand, Egon Schiele RemiXed

2021: Participant > Photodarium Private


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