Beauty & Transcendence

“So much of what we see today is concerned with the face -with celebrity, with the politics of a person and their endorsement, I want to refocus our attention on the most basic elements of what I believe fashion and art are truly concerned with -color, form, texture, and seeing into a space beyond ourselves. For me, fashion is merely another mode to understand our relationship with beauty’s transcendent qualities.” ~Erik Madigan Heck


For Out of Order, Guinevere Van Seenus, Spring/Summer 2014, Photography by Erik Madigan Heck, Courtesy and © Erik Madigan Heck.

An exhibition of 13 new large-scale works by Erik Madigan Heck titled “The Absorbed Tradition” created during the early months of 2014, opens at BOSI Contemporary in New York, 4 June and runs through 14 June, 2014. The images include landscape, portraiture and fashion-based photographs, which highlight the artist’s continuous interest in abstracting and reshaping the history of photography into a new hybrid form, while formally paying homage to the established medium.

Heck says of his painterly images: “It signifies a different direction in my own work, where I am trying to flatten the space between photography and illustration, by eliminating photographic elements and painting on different surfaces and colors in post-production, attempting to move closer towards painting itself, in process and form.”


For Mary Katrantzou Autumn/Winter 2011 for A Magazine + Nomenus Quarterly, Photography by Erik Madigan Heck, Model: Janice at Ford, Courtesy and © Erik Madigan Heck.

In addition to comprising the exhibition, the images are featured in a special issue of CREEM Magazine. Curated and photographed by the artist, the publication has been designed as an art book with two parts. The first section, entitled “Conversations on Photography,” focuses on the artist’s interviews with and portraits of high-profile individuals in the world of photography. Curators, directors, and fellow photographers -including Taryn Simon, Elinor Carucci, Vince Aletti, Susan Bright and Kathy Ryan- are captured in in-depth features alongside their own work.


For Felicity Brown and The End of Spring, Spring/Summer 2011, Photography by Erik Madigan Heck, Courtesy and © Erik Madigan Heck.

The second section of the magazine is composed of Heck’s new works. Images range from portraits of Waris Ahluwalia in Haider Ackermann and Jamie Bochert in Ann Demeulemeester to a 40-page black-and-white book of portraits of Guinevere Van Seenus. The issue concludes with the third installment of the artist’s “Without A Face” series, originally commissioned by and debuted in New York Magazine. Here, it exists as a series of ambiguous “advertisements” made for a selection of fashion designers.


Erik Madigan Heck is a photographer, filmmaker, and writer. He earned his MFA in Photography and Film Related Studies from Parsons School of Design in New York, where he currently lives and works. In 2013 he received an Infinity Award from the International Center of Photography for his work. He is a regular contributor to the New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, W, and Harper’s Bazaar UK. He is the founder of Nomenus Quarterly and No Photos Please, and is the author of “January to August.” Heck is included in the forthcoming exhibition “Don’t Stop Now: Fashion Photography Next,” opening July 2014 at the Foam Museum in Amsterdam, with an accompanying catalog published by Thames & Hudson.