Hofmann was born in Baltimore, Maryland (USA) in 1945 and began his training in art after high school at the Maryland Institute of Art.
During his first year there he discovered Joseph Sheppard. “I used to walk down to the first floor and stick my head in this room that was totally quiet. You could hear a pin drop. It was Joe Sheppard’s class.” He began studying with Joe, taking on anatomy, drawing and painting from the model, all of which were new to Hofmann. He also discovered the Maroger method, which enables the artist to use thin layers of paint and techniques similar to those of the Old Masters. Through his burgeoning interest in the Old Masters, Hofmann began to develop his individual taste.
Vermeer’s interiors with figures became one of his favorite themes. Emulating Vermeer, he painted situations from his home and studio using his wife and children as his models. Hofmann later expanded his subject matter to include his memorable nudes and his much-loved ballet works. “I borrow from everything I like, for example, the works of Vermeer, Rubens, Degas, and Mucha. I’m using a Dutch technique but with an Art Nouveau model, Victorian too. And I love the female figure, I think it’s the most beautiful thing there is.” His subjects have changed over the years, but women have continued to dominate his panels and prints.