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Florentijn Hofman

Florentijn Hofman (1977) is an artist. He trained at the Christian Academy of Visual Arts in Kampen (now part of ArtEZ) and did a master’s degree at the Kunsthochschule in Berlin. His sculptures often originate from everyday objects. They are all ready-mades, selected by Florentijn Hofman for the beauty of their forms. He then turns these objects into clear and iconic images: cartoonish blow-ups of reality that alienate and unsettle through their sheer size and use of materials. Nevertheless they are immediately identifiable and have instant appeal. Inflatables, window stickers, agricultural plastic sheeting… for him any material is suitable for turning into art. His work is characterised by its humour, sensation and maximum impact.

Take Rubber Duck (2007) for example: a gigantic 26-metre-high yellow rubber duck that travels the world. It is an inflatable based on the standard model that children all over the world play with in the bath. It connects people to their childhood. For him the audience is an essential part of his work. His sculptures in public places give people a break from their daily routine: they create commotion and astonishment. They put a smile on people’s faces and cause passers-by to enter into conversation with other spectators.

Florentijn Hofman also works on other kinds of projects. In Beukelsblauw (2004-2006) he brought attention to a block of housing destined for demolition by painting the buildings bright blue from top to bottom. In these projects he invites spectators to reconsider things that initially appear to be run-of-the-mill.
My Rubber Duck project formed the inspiration for the Miffy statue, which became a Neendje [Miffy Ducky].’