Photography has been Heyert's passion since she was 16. It led her to the Royal College of Art in London, where she studied with Bill Brandt, and back to New York where she wrote her first photography book, and established an international reputation as an architectural photographer. She first captured the attention of the art world with a decade-long body of work, her photographic trilogy of experimental portraits, THE SLEEPERS, THE TRAVELERS, and THE NARCISSISTS. Her two most recent projects, THE BOUND, and THE OUTSIDER, have just been completed.

After shooting around the world for publications such as The New York Times, New York Magazine, American and British Vogue, Elle Décor, and Architectural Digest, and for clients including Ralph Lauren, Cartier, American Express, and Tiffany & Co., Heyert's successful 20 year career allowed her to close her commercial studio, to return to a more personal exploration of photography. She began experimenting with unconventional forms of portrait photography. Within three years she was offered her first one-person show of THE SLEEPERS, which opened at the Edwynn Houk gallery in New York.

THE SLEEPERS, a series of monumental toned black and white portraits of sleeping nudes, is a meditation on the mystical world of sleep and the naked emotions of the unconscious. Reviewing the exhibit, The New Yorker wrote that the photographs: "conjure thoughts of human fragility and impermanence even if the sleepers have become heroic sculptures rising from a deep slumber." Sei Swann/D.A.P. published a monograph of THE SLEEPERS, with an essay inspired by the works written by the playwright John Guare.

Heyert's obsession with sleep and oblivion led her inevitably to photograph THE TRAVELERS, a series of large-scale color post-mortem portraits. Unlike most post-mortem photographs, Heyert presents the dead as she would the living, beautifully dressed against a black background with the traditional lighting of a formal portrait. First exhibited in a one-person show at the Edwynn Houk gallery in New York, the photographs stirred discussion and controversy. In a feature article about the works, the New York Times described them as a "peek below the surface at the vibrant, living face beneath the mask of death." Her book, THE TRAVELERS,  was named by PHOTO EYE as one of the best photography books of the year.

 

 

 

Photo Credit: Nina Subin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Heyert's photographs are in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art,  the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and numerous private collections. Her work has been  reviewed in international publications such as The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Times London, Le Monde, and Stern and in contemporary publications such as Dazed and Confused and The Drawbridge. She won Outstanding Photographer awards from Ogilvy in the UK, and Nikon in the US.

Her photographs have been featured in important international exhibitions: at the Hayward Gallery in London; in Darkside II at Fotomuseum Winterthur in Switzerland; in Austria in New Art/New York: Reflections of the Human Condition; in a solo museum show at the Malmo Museer in Sweden. In the Netherlands, 18 life size prints of THE TRAVELERS were exhibited as the sole inhabitants of a small island, accessible only through an ancient stone tunnel, in an installation entitled IN MEMORIAM. Her works have also been the subject of television programs by ARD Kulturweltspiegel in Germany and by TVE Spain, a National Public Radio program, and feature articles in The New York Times, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, El Mundo, Le Temps, and Caijing Magazine, among others.

A short list of Heyert's books of and about photography includes: THE TRAVELERS (Scalo), the award winning book from her series;  THE SLEEPERS (Sei Swann/DAP);  THE NARCISSISTS (Silvana Editoriale);  METROPOLITAN PLACES (Viking Studio Books/Mondadori), one of the classic anthologies of 20th century interior design which she wrote and photographed;  and THE GLASS-HOUSE YEARS (Allanheld & Schram), a history of 19th century portrait photography. Her 2016 book, THE BOUND, a limited edition artist’s book of photogravures, was acquired by the Beinecke Library of Rare Books and Manuscripts at Yale University.

In her latest book project, THE OUTSIDER, Heyert made four trips to China to photograph the Chinese taking photographs of each other. Fascinated by the rituals of Chinese amateurs yet unable to speak their language, she worked “like an unseen ghost wandering around with a vintage Leica and Tri-X in a country where film is no longer even sold.” Damiani Editore will publish THE OUTSIDER in September 2017.

Heyert's studio is in Chelsea, New York. She lives in Greenwich Village.