Multi-media artist and Funk Zone resident!
I met Philip Koplin through Dan Levin, because the two have shared a studio down in the corner of the FunkZone, right next to some dumpsters, in a room that used to be a refrigeration unit, then a wine storage room.
Koplin is an assemblage artist like Levin is, but he also works in monotype, and is the first guy I knew who used Yupo paper, a strange plastic sheet that he’s been experimenting with for some time. (He gave me a sheet, I still don’t know what to do with it.)
In our limited conversations I knew there was a whole lot more to this artist’s life story, so I got to sit down with him one day in a shed at the back of the Green House, the gallery that is co-inhabited by Koplin’s wife, Virginia McCracken, along with Erika Carter, Donna Ayscough, and Liz Brady. Thanks to them for giving us space. (Refrigerator units still have a noisy motor for some reason, so we had to move.)
Koplin talks about his Coney Island upbringing, his adventures on the road and during the Vietnam War, Santa Barbara in the ’80s, and how every generation tries to figure out how to help Santa Barbara Artists. It’s a great chat with the added bonus of traffic noise nearby and…wait for it…a bird.
As I say in the introduction, you can check out Koplin’s work at his upcoming open studio on Sept. 18, 2015 at Koplin/Levin,206 Gray Ave.
He’s also on the web here.
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