Globe and Mail

Chip Hooper at Tatar Gallery
Globe and Mail, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

January 8, 2005

This is the only Canadian venue for American photographer Chip Hooper’s photo-exhibition California’s Pacific which began a four-city tour in the United States last year.
The photographs, which are velvety black and white and extremely large (they are photographed with a large-format camera and have been printed on 1.2 metre by 1.5 metre paper), are about space – the space of the ocean, the space above the ocean and the space where those two seemingly infinite fields touch and define each other. Sometimes the luminous beauty of these photo-vistas is almost dauntingly intense – which sometimes positions the photographs perilously close to the merely picturesque.
But at their best, as in Light on the Pacific, Afternoon, Big Sur, and in the stupefyingly lovely Rock Garden, with three black, rocky promontories pushing up out of a silvery, brimming sea, the result is a transcendental calm that leads you a little closer than you were before to exaltation.