Photographs by Chip Hooper

February 8 – April 20, 2014

Please join us for a reception with the artist February 8, 2014 at the Weston Gallery:
4:00 – 6:00pm, 6th Avenue between Dolores & Lincoln.

“The attitude that nature is chaotic and that the artist puts order into it is a very absurd point of view, I think.
All that we can hope for is to put some order into ourselves.”
~ Willem de Kooning

At the age of 12, Lake Michigan was Chip Hooper’s Pacific Ocean. Growing up in the mid-west, with an overriding sense of transience, in 1988, the artist moved to the Monterey Peninsula where, he discovered the Big Sur coast and at the age of 26, finally came home.

“Surf” is Hooper’s most recent chapter of his many years of study and love for his lifelong subject, the ocean. He made his first photograph for this series in 2003, inspired by a seminal moment with a close artist friend who gave Hooper this advice:

“When you’ve finished making a picture you’re excited about, look up, look down, look left and right, and behind you, and sit with your emotions, take it in. That’s when you might find something new”. It was on the Big Sur coast in 2003 that Hooper did just that; observing the surface of the ocean, the turbulent ebb and flow of the raw sea and made what would be the first of the Surf Series, Surf #1082.

While Hooper’s earlier series, California’s Pacific is ongoing, New Zealand’s South Pacific & Tasman Sea took only two years culminate, the Surf Series is a 10 year intimate study of a highly personal exploration along the Mendocino, Sonoma and Big Sur coasts. These photographs are symbols, each of a journey captured in a fleeting moment, no longer than a second in time, but lasting indefinitely.

For this series, Hooper has stepped out from under the f/64 umbrella which was influential to his early work, taking on a new perspective with his large-format 8 x 10 inch view camera. He clearly draws inspiration from his recent study of the post-World War II abstract expressionists including Jackson Pollack, Mark Rothko and Willem de Kooning.

Hooper’s undeniable, life-long connection to the sea continues to be his genesis. The future holds a new installment of photographs taken in California, and a growing body of work made in Iceland. We only hope he continues to look up, down, to the left and to the right.

Chip Hooper’s work is featured in many private and public collections including the Microsoft Collection, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Portland Art Museum and the Tokyo Photographic Culture Centre. He has been featured in The New York Times, The New Yorker, ARTnews, The Oregonian, and the San Diego Union-Tribune, among others. He lives in Carmel Valley, California.










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