In 2003/2004 Elizabeth Heyert photographed the bodies of more than thirty people at the Harlem funeral parlor of Isaiah Owens who prepared the corpses for their last journey. She would take pictures early in the morning, after the families had said goodbye to their loved ones the previous evening and before the service later in the morning.
Do we reveal our hidden, inner self when we sleep? In The Sleepers, Elizabeth Heyert's camera bears witness to moments rarely seen, when our public facade has vanished, and we are completely unaware of scrutiny. Working with a large format view camera from a balcony, Heyert documented modern men and women, in all their diversity, sleeping naked, singly and in couples. Against a stark black background, seemingly isolated in space, none of her subjects look like they are sleeping.
Best known for her controversial 2005 postmortem portrait series The Travelers, which The New York Times called "a peek... at the vibrant, living face beneath the mask of death," the former architectural photographer Elizabeth Heyert resumes her role as observer and voyeur in this fascinating third volume, The Narcissists. Inspired by the myth of Narcissus, and as a challenge to the Avedon idea that a photograph is about a relationship between two people, Heyert takes us through the looking glass, capturing her subjects unaware through a one-way mirror in a series of 15-minute photo-sessions.
Interiors from New York, London, Barcelona, Milan, Mexico City, Paris, West Berlin
In this presentation of the striking art and design of 32 homes in eight major cities in Europe and North America, well-known photographer Heyert aims to provide, not how-to decorating information, but a photographic appreciation of a variety of styles and artistic visions. Here she emphasizes the visual effects achieved by owners and designers of wealth and celebrity in homes in New York, Barcelona, Milan, Mexico City, Paris, West Berlin, London, and Los Angeles.
The Glass House Years
In this social and aesthetic survey of photography’s first thirty years, Elizabeth Heyert offers an unusual selection of photographs, including rarely seen intimate images of the British royal family at play, as well as a selection of funeral albums and post-mortem portraits. Along with a brief history of photography’s earliest days, the author explores the careers of the “glass-house” entrepreneurs—commercial portrait photographers working in glass rooftop studios—and of pioneering amateurs and other independent spirits in the field such as Lewis Carroll and Julia Margaret Cameron.