American photographer Joshua Hoffine's work is so provocative that some have accused the father of 3 of abuse (his daughters are often models, and like any good dad-it's playtime and safely guarded from danger.). Inspired by the hyper colored animation of classic Disney and the dark metaphors of horror stories Hoffine's elaborately staged photographs are striking stills of childhood doom. Using the over-blown drama of a Hollywood spectacle (hot lights, taxidermy, prosthetic make-up, fog machines, an good dose of blood and suspense) Hoffine transports the view into a horror film at the threshold of revelation, often involving a child's discovery of the menacing creatures that lurk in the dark.
Am Eschewing Photoshop collage (not that there is anything wrong with that) for more practical setups I immediately made the correlation between Joshua Hoffine and rising art star (and good friend) Holly Andres, who's own work explores the anxieties of childhood, the female in culture and the place of woman within the binary framework of the fantastical(see her recent Sparrow Lane exhibit). I'm not sure when viewing the horrific and violently suspenseful images of Hoffine that connection would be immediate to the casual viewer but for me the compositions and the deep attention to detail and cinematic nature o the work make Hoffine Andres' evil cousin (at least)
Early in Joshua Hoffine's career he ran a profitable wedding photography business (another correlation to the illustrious Ms. Andres). While the hyperbolic horror of his current work may not be to the taste of some it does speak deeply of the primal concern of childhood : death. Horror taps the primal scream within us all, that grand guignol tradition of exposing the truth in death and life.
While some may dismissive the transgressive imagery as base sensationalist they would miss the deeply symbolic truths that horror allows one to see. Shock value does not deplete from the value and the deeply technical detailed aesthetic at work here. Hand crafted , costumed and beautifully albeit disturbingly provocative compositions showcase a immensely talented photographer.