Publisher: Los Angeles: Robert Heinecken, 1999
Edition: 1st Edition
Binding: Soft cover
Condition: Fine / No dust jacket as issued
Item #: 110780
Reserved (museum accession)
This edition is reserved for accessioning into a museum's permanent collection. Scans of the entire artist's book are presented here for viewer appreciation.
1994-1999. From a limited edition of 5 copies. Incised and altered found magazine pages and offset lithographic proof prints on heavy stock paper, collated and spiral-bound by the artist. Signed, titled, numbered and dated in pencil on the rear cover by Heinecken. Unpaginated (62 pp.), illustrated throughout. 10-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches.
One of the most ingeniously conceived and executed projects of Heinecken's remarkable career, this incised magazine marks the beginning of his engagement with the ubiquitous Gap advertisements of the 1990s, which featured vintage photographs of celebrities wearing various styles of khaki pants and a simple line of text ("___ wore khakis").
Heinecken's playful and provocative alteration and reassembly of this imagery extends and modifies his well-established interest in seeing through multiple layers of mass media, as exemplified in his related projects Are You Rea, Recto/Verso, and numerous revised, repurposed, incised and otherwise altered Periodicals, in which Heinecken utilized offset lithographic printing and precise cutting to show more than one image at a time. The results of these projects at times reflect Heinecken's sense of humor, but they also expose a serious critique of consumerism, sexuality, politics, war, image-making, and the sometimes shockingly comfortable way these elements breezily coexist in the mass media.
Revised Magazine: Gap/NY Headaches unpretentiously begins with an unaltered cover of New York magazine (issue February 21, 1994), which features a cover story on infant AIDS treatment, and the original mailing label addressed to Heinecken's [then] Chicago home. But subsequent pages reveal an increasingly complex series of intertwined images, cut through multiple layers of magazine pages to create brilliant juxtapositions. Montgomery Clift poses on a stepladder on one page, while Sammy Davis Jr., leaping into the air on the underlying page, embraces him, made visible through the meticulous incision--a literal play on the word "Gap"--through Clift's image. Zsa Zsa Gabor perches on Steve McQueen's lap, Margaret Bourke-White and her view camera hover over Muhammad Ali, and Pablo Picasso appears to hold in his hands a miniature Amelia Earhart. Interspersed with the vintage imagery, contemporary non-Gap fashion photographs level the chronology, and remind us that even the Gap ads are contemporary calls to aquire not just clothing, but particular lifestyles as well.
Throughout the book, the layers of paper, the gaps and voids created by the incisions, the subtle variations of color and the slight textural differences on each page establish visual richness, while the occasional layer of black or white ink reminds us that this object is very much an elaborately hand-made work of art. Heinecken continued to hone the Gap work in 1999 with "...wore khakis," a limited edition of 20 proof copies made together with Nazraeli Press, but never officially published. This latter edition omits the contemporary fashion photographs in favor of an even more focused series of source images, limited to actual Gap advertisements, but rearranged and re-cut to include black or gray silhouettes and additional layers of pages.
About Robert Heinecken:
Robert Heinecken is one of the most innovative and influential artists of the second half of the 20th century. He was a pioneer of postmodern photographic practices, and his work anticipated the Pictures Generation artists of the 1970s and 1980s who practiced the appropriation of images from advertising and the media. A self-described “para-photographer,” Heinecken was always challenging the conventions of the then-accepted “canon” of photography. He transformed the possibilities of the medium, and had a profound impact on many photography-based artists who studied with him.
Influenced by Dada and Surrealism, especially Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray and John Heartfield, Heinecken worked with numerous photographic techniques and materials, oftentimes combining them with various printmaking processes. In addition to offset lithography and etching, he made use of film transparencies, photographic emulsion on canvas, gelatin silver prints mounted to wood (e.g., "Multiple Solution Puzzle" Series), Polaroid materials, mixed media collage and photograms (e.g., ARE YOU REA and Recto/Verso Series).
His source materials included popular “lifestyle” magazines, advertising, images taken directly from television screens, pornography and news photographs. Through his ground-breaking works, Heinecken transformed American notions of consumerism, war, eroticism and mass media.
From Robert Heinecken (in the mid-1960s): "We constantly tend to misuse or misunderstand the term reality in reference to photographs. The photograph itself is the only thing that is real, that exists... (There is a vast difference between taking a picture and making a photograph.)."
An excerpt from a text written by Carl Chiarenza (in 1976): "He uses existing photographs... and their reproductions because they have littered the world and our minds with unlimited examples of every conceivable image of truth, beauty, banality, eroticism, brutality, pornography, consumerism, political idea, personality, idol, and ideal. Indeed one is hard put to name anything that has not been replaced by a photographically derived image. His recycling of these images makes this astounding point before making any other. Heinecken knows the photograph is not real. He also knows that most of us still believe it is... The camera eye is lusty and insatiable, a perfect match for Heinecken's eye."
Robert Heinecken was born in 1931 in Denver, Colorado and in 1942 his family relocated to Riverside, California. After serving in the US Marine Corps, he earned a BA in 1959 from the University of California, Los Angeles, where he continued his studies, specializing in printmaking and graduating with an MFA in 1960. He founded the graduate program for photography at UCLA in 1964, where he taught until 1991. Heinecken died at age 74 in 2006 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.