Native Angeleno and South Bay local, Chip Herwegh has a lifelong love affair with the history, geography, and societal archives of his hometown. His work, his art is intimately anchored by moments in time and evocative settings that he has been documenting over decades. Filed and stored, figuratively, and brought out thereafter when inspiration takes flight.
Chip spent years working and honing his artistry with a diverse tool set, eventually leading him to a place where building, research, playing about, and true carpentry craftsmanship has made his work both nostalgic and progressive. Experimentation has become an integral part of his methodology as well as the reinventing of techniques and using materials in hybrid and charmingly unanticipated ways. As the 20th century artist and great experimenter Saul Baizerman began with a flat sheet of copper and a hammer, Chip begins with a piece of wood and his tools. The outcome is most often a surprise, even to the artist himself, revealing a hidden, never imagined grandeur.
Two notable pieces include “Kenter Banks” which began with the finished product, a skateboard deck, and then cut away revealing layers of colored veneers exposing something quite beautiful but completely unenvisaged. Secondly, his work “1555 Artesian” is a large format architectural piece evolving from a photograph by one of Los Angeles’s most well known and iconic post-war artists, Ed Ruscha.
Though he works in three dimensions, his goal is to ultimately collapse the distinction between painting and sculpture, blurring the boundary between the two. The art and method, though done in isolation, is never a selfish act. Chip’s preeminent goal is to share the emotional process from past to present that he experiences, with the observer, to form a palpable connection between him and the viewer.