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Office Supplies as Motif: Art by John Hovig

A silkscreen design of a ruler and paperclipsCR-239 Acrylic Ruler in Yellow, acrylic and silkscreen on linen


John Hovig is a multimedia artist who often uses office supplies as motif. John’s portfolio is full and varied, with explorations of the man-made and mechanical placed alongside or in series with more organic forms.


A tinted woodcut print by John HovigCycladic Rider 1 (hand-tinted), woodcut with watercolor


I enjoy the way that John elevates the humble paper clip to an art material in so many of his works. In paintings, screen prints, and lithographs, he treats the simple, curved-line form in a variety of different ways – washing it over with different colours, enlarging it and repeating it, or layering it with other, conceptually similar forms. Even in works where John doesn’t directly use the shape of a paper clip, similarly curved, self-contained line forms often appear.


The front page of John Hovig's art websiteThe front page of John's website


John’s drawings are particularly fascinating for me. These works are all abstract, all very focused on line, shape and composition. John frequently follows a system of sorts where a larger, twisted line is surrounded and covered over by a swarm of similar lines, branching off from it and creating a strangely biological-looking figure. 


An abstract drawing with repeating lines in multiple colorsUntitled, drawing


About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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