Fashion Photographer Erik Madigan Heck
By Scarlett Davis
An exhibit featuring prominent fashion photographer Erik Madigan Heck opened on January 26th, 2018 at The Jackson Fine Art Gallery in Atlanta. Heck is one of the youngest and most prolific contemporary photographers in the fashion world. In 2012, he was the youngest person to shoot Neiman Marcus’ iconic “Art of Fashion” campaign after Richard Avedon and Annie Leibovitz. Known for his ability to "paint with a camera," his work has been said to be timeless yet also futuristic. He has helped to broaden the scope of avant-garde art by interweaving modes of painting, with classical portraiture, Pop Art, and Impressionism, while intercutting with modern photo layering and manipulation techniques. His resume of work includes The New York Times, Harper’s Bazaar, and Vanity Fair, with notable subjects such as, Tilda Swinton, Dakota Fanning, Roger Federer, Kylie Jenner, Kendrick Lamar, and more. His portrait of Adele for the cover of Time gained him much accolade.
Heck has a great sensitivity for lines which helps him imbue the human form with an element of romanticism--- occupying the same space in the gallery, parallels can be drawn to modernist photographer André Kertész’s nude treatment in his Distortions of the early 1930’s. André Kertész distorted the forms of his subjects by focusing his camera between them and a fun house mirror, analogous to Heck’s in-camera manipulation with natural light.
A welcomed anomaly in the world of fashion photography, Heck’s photos are for lack of a better term, visual masterpieces with their color and beauty, a fair contrast to the shock factor or the “anti-fashion photography” movement. When asked about his artistic choice of shooting the back of the head or to blur the subject’s face, Heck said in an interview with Minnesota Monthly in September 2017, “I’m more concerned about color, composition—everything but the person.” Heck has a solid grasp of movement. His subjects vary in poses and are effortlessly blended into their backdrop through textiles and photo layering. Heck’s photos are a reminder of the joy and pleasure that comes with how we choose to adorn ourselves, free from frivolity or vanity; beauty is beauty.
Erick Madigan Heck's exhibit runs from Friday, January 26th, 2018- Saturday, March 17, 2018 at the Jackson Fine Art Gallery in Atlanta, Georgia.