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The Galleries

Wilshire Center

November 20, 1987|COLIN GARDNER

Robert Heinecken rightly calls himself a "Paraphotographer." Although he manipulates mechanically reproduced imagery, he rarely uses a camera, preferring to synthesize existing material with a computer or video monitor.

His current exhibit presents three separate bodies of work, dealing largely with media manipulation of women's images. A recurring theme in Heinecken's work since the '60s, it seems all the more pertinent in this era of MTV alienation and subliminal seduction.

"Recto/Verso," for example, consists of 12 photograms where two sides of a fashion magazine page are superimposed upon each other so that each image "violates" the other. Similarly, selected Vogue and Glamour fashion plates have been molded into relief sculptures, neatly transforming woman-as-object imagery into literal, three-dimensional aesthetic objects.

Conceptually, much of this material seems to belabor the obvious. Where Heinecken really scores, however, is in a series of computer-generated prints depicting out-of-focus women newscasters. Framed to resemble ersatz TV monitors, paired images of Barbara Walters and Faith Daniels are matched to produce identical facial expressions. Heinecken's warning is that information systems have been transformed into an endless production line of interchangeable talking heads. (Fahey/Klein, 148 N. La Brea Ave., to Dec. 5.)

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