Kati Heck’s masterful virtuosity is unmistakable. She portrays her figures in a photo-realistic manner with great attention to every detail. She combines that precision with abstractions and parts that are applied almost sculpturally on canvas. Most of her subjects are derived from her immediate surroundings, making most her works populated by her friends, neighbors and pets. Her works reminds us of the bars, dancers and actors of Otto Dix and George Grosz, but also refer to Jean-Michel Basquiat and the Old Masters. With her works, Heck synthesizes different styles, combining elements from expressionism and surrealism with social realism.
With her new series of works, Heck shows an alternative universe, inspired by the ideas of philosopher Donna Haraway. Haraway has had a major impact on contemporary social sciences and philosophy through her highly original way of thinking with which she moves between theory and fiction. In her books A Cyborg Manifesto and Staying with the trouble, she sketches stories in a fantastic universe populated by transfuturistic life forms. The scene in Heck's work Tafelrunde: Wässerung, 2019, builds on this idea of multi-biological society, where human and non-human life forms talk together at the table. Just like Haraway, Heck examines and observes her environment and current discussions and transforms them into her own findings, narratives and visual language. This Dadaistic process is reflected in both her figures and words. In the work Probe Pflanzung, 2019, we see a man whose right foot seems to disappear in a white cloud. A hybrid figure with an amputated leg offers him a horse's hoof instead. The same idea of bodily collages also comes back in Meisterengelchen: Pufff, 2019 where a weathered woman can be seen with wings and distorted hands. With this Heck responds to the classical archetype of the fallen angel.
Artists: KATI HECK