Either its because painting can depict such real fantasies, or that photography can depict such fantastical realities; this 2011 nominated “new and emerging photographers to watch” has blurred the lines between art and photography, and completely eliminated the borders between fashion and photography. I wowed when I saw these images, and when I realized the photographer was only born in 1983 and achieved in being the youngest person to photograph the Art of Fashion campaign in 2012, my jaws dropped. American photographer Erik Madigan Heck is one hell of a fella. All his images involve that inspirational moment when it looks as if it was a piece of fine art painting from some decades ago. It’s like we’ve seen them in Art history text books because of the elegance and compositional structure that it has, which places modernity alongside with classical paintings. The colors are amazing, the perspective is unique, and the models are always so distant with its static and stable emotions, yet approachable by the flesh that we recognize as real. Not to mention, it is obvious that the photographer is familiar with the color theory which aided artists such as Van Gogh and Gaugain when it came to paintings. Contrasting colors like blue and yellow, red and green, are almost found always side by side, playing off each other, delivering the most vivid imagery to our eyes. The black involved is always as black as it can get, with barely any mid tones such as grey. Its like someone pulled the bar in photoshop for all his images, pushing contrast and vibrance to its max. There is also a Gustav Klimt shadow with the play on patterns that he uses for backgrounds, and the weird dimensions of the block of colors suggests connotations from pop art and cubism.
Its because of all these related connotations from the world of fine arts do his images appear so strong and easily linked to different audiences. There are so much in to see in each image, whether it be the fashion, the model, the still life of flowers and vase or the portrayal of scattered light much like Monet’s; his works are one in a million and assesses upon such varied topics of interests. Then, the most difficult thing Erik Madigan Heck has successfully tackled is, within all these information, he hasn’t lose sight of the featured apparels. They still stand out just as much as the background, and they are even further reinforced by his choice of setting and colors because of the way they play off each other. He has for sure became a personal favorite, and I can’t wait to see more of his new and upcoming projects.