Erik Madigan Heck is best known for his fashion photographs and intimate portraits, but he’s not one to be pigeonholed. “I never want my work to fall into one aesthetic category,” the artist—and W contributor—said following the opening of his first solo exhibition, “The Absorbed Tradition” at BOSI Contemporary gallery. “I always am trying to morph and alter my work depending on each project. I find it much more interesting to be able to work between different photographic techniques, and always trying to find a way to make something new with photography as a medium.” Such is the case with his new show—which features a combination of straightforward black-and-white portraits of recognizable public figures, such as Waris Alhuwalia, Vince Aletti, and Jamie Bochert, and colorful 19th-century inspired photo illustrations. “I like that this show had the most basic form of black and white photographs made with film, as well as photo illustrations that breach the opposite end of the spectrum of what is considered photography,” he explained. “Seeing both side by side creates a much more interesting dialogue in the gallery.” Photographing his peers instead of models had its perks, as well. “Their reaction to a lens is much more honest—or you could say naive—than a model's,” Madigan Heck explained. “What you're able to capture isn't necessarily more real, but offers a less controlled version of our perception of them.”
“The Absorbed Tradition” is on view at Bosi Contemporary, 48 Orchard St, New York, through June 14th.