Artist Interview | Emily Hoerdemann

Become acquainted with perhaps a few unknown dimensions – thoughts, ambitions, wisdoms, life changing moments – of this inspiring artist.

When it comes to your art/writing, explain what you do in 100 words.
My work is characterized by its small scale, desktop paintings, and photo collages culled from the pages of fashion magazines and contemporary art auction catalogs. The fragmented photographs, absent of their identity, paired with anthropomorphic objects, organic cascading elements, and abstracted artworks by other artists are meant to address authorship, cultural curation, and sexual objectification. Without being overly sentimental, the collages capture the feeling of both glamour and despair, while maintaining a tenderness and composure.

What project are you working on now?
I am working on a few pieces of work that I’m really excited about. They all incorporate the same source materials—fashion magazines and art auction catalogs—so I consider them to be related. I’ve pushed away from my photography background for a while, but recently have embraced it in order to capture my desktop collages.

Why do you do what you do?
Because I have an intense drive to create. As obvious as it sounds, I think all artists have this intense drive to create—otherwise, what’s the point of doing what we do?

How has your practice changed over time?
I have allowed a bit of my over-controlled and rule-abiding practices to loosen a bit in order to embrace some more chance mark making and happy accidents.

What is your strongest childhood memory?
Painting next to my mom in her studio.

What is your scariest experience?
Moving to New York from my small mid-western town and only knowing a couple people. But it was the best thing I have ever done for myself!

Describe a real-life experience that inspired you.
I am constantly inspired by the people I surround myself with. I have a lucky job because I get to communicate with collectors, gallerists, and artists. Recently, I visited my undergrad college, Bradley University, and had the opportunity to walk through the painting class with Heather Brammeier who was my professor. It was very rewarding to be looking at the talent at my alma mater and talking with someone I admire greatly about my path since I was an undergrad. Hearing Heather tell me how proud she is about what I’ve accomplished pushes me to keep creating.

What superpower would you like to have and why?
I would want a photographic memory. I think I would have been a much better scholar if I had that talent!

What is your pet peeve about the art world?
The art world is massive and terribly small at the same time. No matter how much you think you know or have experienced, there is always someone that knows more, has experienced more, and/or can do more. I think championing positivity and encouragement is key—but that’s lost on some participants!

What is your dream creative project?
Collaborating with others that are just as hungry to create something as I am.

Which place in the world do you find to be the most inspiring?
My home studio. Honestly, I am a homebody, so for me being at home in my studio and just creating until it “clicks” is always best.

Do you make a living off of your art?
No, and I think that affords me to be more adventurous and take my time. I make a living caring for other people’s art, and that can be incredibly inspiring.

What’s the most indispensable item in your studio/practice?
Scissors! Everything is collage, whether it’s on paper, on wood, or photographed. Second would be my camera. Without it, I cannot make an entire body of work without my camera. My Photo Interventions series is analog collage work, but ultimately captured as a photograph and printed as an archival pigment print.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Keep going. Apply yourself again and again. Ask questions. And don’t wear uncomfortable shoes.

What are your hobbies?
I love my garden. Growing herbs, veggies, and peppers on my rooftop garden in Brooklyn is a big luxury in this city!

Creatively, where do you see yourself in the next five years?
Ideally, having more time to be creative on my own work. But I love having my hands in many pots, so I go where the inspiration takes me.

Emily Hoerdemann is a US citizen, was born in 1985 in Peoria, Illinois, and is currently based in Brooklyn, New York. Visit

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