much love me: clé + ruan hoffmann
by clé tile | published: Jul 23, 2019
ruan hoffmann’s ‘much love me’ tiles had a serendipitous start, much like the launch of clé. both had their roots in the blog ‘tile envy’ that deborah osburn began in 2012. as she relates, “when ruan hoffmann and i first became acquainted with one another, it was a wonderful story about synchronicity in the age of the internet.” having featured one of his tiles, she was digging for more information when he popped up on email. as she explains, “i’m not quite sure what resonated so deeply with me. perhaps it was all the qualities for which ruan is now famous—at once primitive yet skilled, historic yet modern, simple yet complex. and here it was… all of that in a single tile.” she continues, “i’ve long been drawn to hieroglyphics and how those seemed to have grown into the evolution of pottery, acting as markers of civilization throughout the ages. and for some reason, this single tile reminded me of all of that pottery goodness—documenting the existence of humanity, revealing their moment in time. all of this using fired elements of clay and minerals to establish permanence.”
taking clay as his medium, ruan’s work features poetic distortions of classical forms such as plates and vessels which he layers with imagery and commentary that range from the personal to the pithy often embellished with a lopsided roman font. taking this imagery, ruan worked with deborah to recreate a series of drawings for clé that were lithographed onto twelve-inch limestone and marble squares to create the ‘much love me’ limited edition of tiles. this also became the start of clé’s artist series that has become a trademark feature of the brand.
the collection was immediately embraced by creatives and the likes of vogue magazine, where it was the first tile to be featured in their publication. much like the emergence of streetwear in fashion, ruan’s tiles bring a modern graffiti element to traditional architectural decoration. his vision is a primitive yet extremely current representation of the moment. lifestyle blogger slim paley aptly referred to it as “delft on acid”.
‘much love me’ is still one of the most powerful collections that has ever been offered by clé and we are pleased to announce the relaunch of the collection. in addition to the delft blue we are offering a charcoal iteration fulfilling a promise to ruan to recreate the line in other colorways.
these tiles are a wonderful mélange providing visual texture as well as a playful meditative collection of imagery that are “pure ruan”. he continues to hold a place in our clé hearts for his remarkable body of work that—like all great art—has the ability to deeply connect with our humanity, going beyond words as they delve into our own imaginations.