Jan 8th, 2019



Born in 1991 in São Paulo, the Hoji uses drawing as his primary tool. His first collection, WILD, depicts small details and psychedelic animals drawn with India ink, his creations capture animal’s naivety and pureness.

Hoji is the name Rodrigo Colen was given by his host family in New Jersey (USA), in 2009. A transitional and inspiring moment in the artist’s life. Urban art, streets and modern world behaviors are his main influences and inspirations.

Tell us about the works that we are featuring?

My work is composed of me, everything I do is pure expression of the feeling that is pulsating at the moment. Where I put my feelings, my anguish, my fears, my joys, my life. I believe this is visible to the public sometimes, in others I guess it’s just my view of the process. I do not see my work as a simple object of decoration. It is an instrument of war, defensive, against everything I think is wrong. And for me, art is that slap in the face when you need it or that kiss on the cheek that could not come at a better time.

How do you get your practice out when it is stuck?

Whenever I must produce for some specific project or some exhibition that is to come I eventually have some blockage simply caused by anxiety, which is something that has always been a problem in my life. Nowadays I have control of it. When this happens I try to meditate, listen to good music, walk with my dog or take a hot bath. These are infallible techniques that always throw me back to my center and the work continues.

How does social media affect you and your art?

Although I love things that live in silence, that happen without being noticed, that live in their individuality; today we live in a very loud world, thanks to social media. I think nowadays social media is something that affects everything and everyone, positively and negatively. It depends on the way you consume it. Consequently it affects me and affects my work, I can not say if directly, but it is a tool that allows me to meet other worlds, other artists and spread my work to the world.

What other forms of art inform your work?

Besides graduating in fine arts, I studied graphic design and photography, and I believe that it allows me to see things in a different way and one completes the other. Where I go I register things through photos, videos and sketches. When it comes to producing a new canvas, the things I have filmed, photographed and seen always come as inspiration and reference.

What can’t you leave home without?

I never leave home without my cell phone, I use it constantly to make videos and take photos around places. It forces me to notice the smallest details of my daily life, like a bird I see in a tree, a flower growing on the city pavement or a sunset. Another item I never leave home without is a sketch book to sketch ideas I have during the day to later move onto a larger canvas. And last but not least, I never leave home without a smile on my face and without expecting the best of my day. I believe that the best of life is in the small details.

How do you determine if a work has been a success?

I have always seen my work as something where I put everything I cannot put into words. I put everything I am into it, I surrender myself body and soul. I think the best way for someone to truly know me is through my work. In it, I put the purest form of myself. I determine if my work has been a success when I get knowledge through it, a new path, hopes or freedom.