as someone that has already been charmed by ruan-hoffmann-ness, the success of his recent range of products at anthropologie came as no surprise. his jardin des plantes range comprises botanical motifs in his signature brushstroke accompanied with some text extracts. more to the point, the collection opens his artwork to a wider audience and whilst playing into the fashion for delft, the playful prettiness of it injects a bit of a dreamy lighthearted spirit into these everyday objects. hoffmann’s work has always had a strong autobiographical edge and in this set he expresses his fondness for plants and flowers; their shapes, their personalities and their enduring effect.
what interests me further about this project is the difference between artists and designers in retail collaborations. the approach of either seem so vastly different - the artist seem to develop imagery in isolation, whereas the designer considers consequence and effect. it has never been my thing to argue the semantics of the art and design languages, but it seems inevitable when one looks at the commercial components. i believe it has to do with a discussion on the purpose of each in context. the departure of art is individual whereas that of design is often aimed at the plural. in this theory a common element necessarily develops from design, however unique it may be.
i daresay i have a great preference for using artists in collaborations for exactly that reason… the end product eventually becomes more spontaneous and less contrived.