The Artist's Voice | Erik Madigan Heck

May 12, 2020
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Erik Madigan Heck offers a glimpse at the inspiration and creation for his latest body of work, The Garden, from his property in Roxbury, Connecticut.


Photographs by Erik Madigan Heck are included in our online exhibition, On Paper | Part II.

'The Garden' is really a fairytale about a more hopeful place. It’s the world I always saw when I looked at paintings with my mom at the museum. It’s a world created around beauty. In a sense, it’s a series that builds upon the tradition of classical landscape painting and figurative painting and even early photography. I actually see this series as a collection of self-portraits that I’ve brought to life with my own family.

'The Garden' is neither real nor imagined, it’s kind of both. It is the place that I live, and that is my family, those are my kids. Every gesture in the pictures are real, but at the same time I never say this is a series about family, it’s about beauty as an ideal and using colour as a vessel to achieve that. It’s the colour that crosses the threshold and brings us into that imagined world. Colour changes everything.

When I talk about my relationship to painting using photography, it’s really about the process of how I arrive at that end result. The photograph is just the beginning, like a canvas where you layer colour, I layer colour on top and on top until I discover that place that I’m looking for. It’s always an experiment, I never set out knowing what that end result is going to be.


- Erik Madigan Heck


Blue Pool, 2020, chromogenic print


The Garden, 2019, chromogenic print