The Fall

‘The Fall’ is a series of appropriation paintings based on canvases from a variety of artistic epochs, ranging from Medieval and Baroque to late Impressionism. The works are constructed by photographing small sections of the paintings in reproduction, then transforming the images' colours, composition, and scale before reprinting them in ink on canvas and painting over them again with acrylic and oil paint.

Named after Camus’s 1956 novel—a monologue on the downfall of mankind—‘The Fall’ realizes the theme of self-refraction in a visually rich, colour-oriented form. Drawing upon painted works that inspired him as a young artist, Heck brings artistic and biographical appropriation together, subjecting both to the fundamentally appropriative medium of photography in a reversal of modern painting’s occupation with photographic themes. Where his series ‘The Garden’ discovers and dwells in the innocence and purity of artistic creation, ‘The Fall’ expresses its loss: the cynicism and fragmentation of mind inherent in looking for something that is elsewhere, and endlessly re-making what has already been made. By re-orienting the painted images downward, or otherwise alienating them from their original compositional direction—and giving them a bright, infernal tint with blood-reds and other intense, fiery colours—Heck imbues the series with the thematic hellishness of its namesake.