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Artist Philip Chapnick uses collected items and assembles them in a way that gives new meaning to the objects. August Howell / Review

Philip Chapnick has been collecting memorabilia for 40 years. With all the items he’s collected, he decided creating artwork would be a practical and creative way to share and move some of the materials he’s obtained from his life and travels.

Chapnick and his wife, Linda Miller, will host an art show from 4 to 7 p.m. on Saturday at Enso Gallery on Kelly Avenue in Half Moon Bay. At 6:30 p.m., there will be a drawing giveaway for all those in attendance. The work will be displayed until Sept. 2.

Chapnick’s art revolves around collage and assemblage, combining three-dimensional objects built up from the same surface. His choice of objects is vast, everything from small magnets to book spines to piano parts. 

Chapnick, who retired three years ago, says the thesis of his work is “bringing together disparate objects and combining them to create a new image that joins them together in some aesthetically pleasing way.”

He constructs multiple pieces at once at his home studio in Half Moon Bay. One of his most challenging pieces to make is called “The Duke of Zhou takes a walk with his favorite concubine.” Zhou, a figure from Chinese history, represented Confucius’ archetypal good ruler. Chapnick is influenced by Chinese culture, he says, because he lived in Beijing for six years. 

Miller also found inspiration from Chinese artwork, particularly in its construction. While in China, she became familiar with traditional Chinese brushes, which use different types of hair including goat, pig, even wolf hair. When the fine point of the brush is pressed against paper, the ink is absorbed into the inner brush, preserving the ink in the brush, allowing for longer painting and drawing sessions. 

“She’s combining the scientific illustration, the very precise nature of it, with the sweeping, essential nature of Chinese brush painting,” Chapnick said. 

Rather than copying scenes or landscapes, as is typical in most Western artwork, Chinese art tends to focus on getting the essence of the scene. 

Miller’s art draws on the collaboration between the precise line work and the philosophical, imagistic work of the Chinese art. 

“The combination of those two things, that interface, is where my wife has discovered her art,” Chapnick said. 

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