My name is Andrew Herbig. I was born in Monterey, California in 1986. I’ve been living and working in Santa Cruz for the last nine years. I moved here to go to school at UC Santa Cruz, where I studied sculpture and public art. I graduated in 2008 with a B.A. in fine Art, moved in with some of my best friends, and have continued my work: sculpting, painting, and making collages. I rent a room in the greatest old Victorian house, and work in the Meat department at the New Leaf Market on the Westside.
My artwork involves the collection and reinterpretation of seemingly ordinary household materials. I’ve used zip-lock bags, saran wrap, packaging tape, bubble wrap, plastic straws, hot glue, and compact discs. Familiar and “disposable,” these highly durable plastic materials are designed to aid in everyday tasks, such as storage, preservation, and transportation. Sold in bulk at a very low price, these types of plastic are commonly used once or twice and then discarded. There is a contradiction inherent in the use of plastic as a disposable or “single-serving” tool, and its name is accumulation. Plastics never completely decompose so instead they collect in landfills and in the ocean, causing irreversible damage to our environment.
As a personal response, I’m interested in using plastic materials in creative ways. Aesthetically they are often brightly colored, or glassy and translucent. They have a sickeningly sweet, sterile quality that I think is really interesting. For some sculptures I have melted and reformed CDs or red coffee stirrers into elaborate, organic forms. Other times I’ve used a drill to mechanically twist multiple strands of saran wrap together making a giant, coral-like tangle. I have done installations in which many different plastic sculptures ebb and flow through space suspended by rubber bands. There is a playful surface quality to my work that catches the eye, draws you in, and asks one question. What are we going to do with all this plastic?