In the latest of our After Nyne x Photography on a Postcard articles, After Nyne meets photographer David Hoffman, who is taking part in Art on a Postcard’s latest edition at the Photo London Fair.
Motivated by documenting the increasingly overt state constraint on our lives, Hoffman has spent some 40 years documenting a range of social issues from policing and racial and social conflict to homelessness drugs, poverty and exclusion.
What made you want to be involved with art on a postcard’s projects?
I liked the idea of so many photographers coming together to support such an important cause.
What do you feel makes AOAP stand out from other arts/charity initiatives?
The centrality of the random element is attractively quirky and the reciprocity it offers in giving back a piece of contemporary art in return for the contribution.
What have been the standout memories to date in your career as an artist?
So many! I’ve had some really exciting and intense times covering protests over more than 40 years. Perhaps my best day as a photographer was the Poll Tax protest in Trafalgar Square in 1990. I came home scorched, tattered, bleeding and fizzing with the energy of that day.Being awarded an Honorary Doctorate and, later, a Lifetime Achievement Award for my work have been icing on my cake.
Where do you find your inspiration?
In the wonder of how foolish, shortsighted and disorganised our society is.
Which organisations – galleries, museums, organisations – do you feel are at the forefront of supporting photographers?
Editorial Photographers UK (EPUK), The Martin Parr Foundation, The Rory Peck Trust – but many others too.
What would be your dream project?
I’ve been doing it for 40 years!
What can you tell us about your work for this year’s Photography on a Postcard?
I should’ve stayed longer at the Turkish baths. It’s always a mistake to leave too soon. The strangle picture always brings back my joy and satisfaction at nailing the bullying police thug and, later, of being able to provide the evidence that showed he was lying to convict a totally innocent young man.
What have you got planned for the rest of the year?
There’s an exhibition of my late 1970s squatting and homelessness photos in Whitechapel planned for the Summer. I’m planning a couple of exhibitions on protest and police surveillance for next year. I want to do more work on digitising and annotating my archive. Maybe I’ll get started on a long hoped for book, gardening – and most importantly, drinking with friends in the sun.