HBT: Cecile and Harry Pearl Gallery.
March 27 – June 27.
Reception: April 26th, 7 – 9 p.m.
The first images of foot coverings were found in cave paintings c. 8000 BC. These bag-like wrappings were probably made of fur or skins. There are even some drawings that resemble rather elegant fur boots. By the time of the Pharaohs, sandals were the ‘in thing’ and they became the symbol of power and rank. There was a very restrictive hierarchical order of ‘who could wear what’ and the tyranny of fashion was born. Today there would seem to be a limitless array of footwear. Position yourself on any street corner and you’ll be amazed by the variety of shoes passing by. The ubiquitous sneaker has so many designs and colours that in the space of an hour, you’d be hard-pressed to see exactly the same shoe twice.
With Nike’s slogan ‘just do it’ ringing in my ears, I set out to photographically capture the essence of the modern shoe and its role as the functional extension of our most tender extremity. Like most photographers, I almost always have a camera close at hand so this collection was snapped spontaneously as I went about my daily routine. To help define its place within our consumer-oriented culture I’ve used the graphic language of advertising to create crisp, bold photographs that sell visual tales rather than product.
Of course the theme of any good tale is just the scaffolding on which the story is built. By capturing mundane activities that feature shoes, and by eliminating the most recognizable forms of human communication – facial expression and hand motion – the negative space that is created allows the viewer to bring a unique and subjective narrative to each shoe story.
While pursuing a full and diverse professional life in music, television and film, Brenda Hoffert never lost her passion for photography. “I’ve been taking photos since I was a teenager but when I got my first digital camera in 1996 I knew at once that the intimacy and immediacy of digital photography was the creative breakthrough I was looking for and that it would become the medium for my work as an artist.” Her photographs are characterized by a bold use of saturated colour with images strongly defined by vertical and horizontal lines giving them a graphic crispness. “I want my work to have emotional impact, compelling viewers to find their own story within the image, prompting them to question what is beyond the frame.”
Corporate clients for Ms. Hoffert’s photographs include BMO Nesbitt Burns, NDI Media, Larc Design and Etobicoke General Hospital. Her work has been selected for use in photography seminars, published in magazines and featured on television home design programs.
Since 2004 Ms. Hoffert has exhibited at Swizz Manhattan in New York; Armatta Gallery in Montreal and galleries in Toronto including Gallery 888, Ben Navaee Gallery, the Gallery at the Spoke Club, Arta Gallery, John B. Aird Gallery, Creative Spirit Gallery and the Cecile and Harry Pearl Gallery.