Kati Heck approaches painting as a cacophony of pre-fab languages. Her canvases give the illusion of collage: stylistically blending photorealism, illustration, cartoon, and expressive painterly gestures, and incorporating their associative references of porn, instructional manuals, humour, and art history. Her works are grounded in both formalism and fiction. Influenced by comics, mystery novels, and film, each painting plays out a possible narrative, using compositional elements to create suggestive links between her visual descriptions.
Heck has been described as a ‘post-feminist’ because of her confrontational representation of the female body. Reminiscent of Rita Ackerman’s portraits of corrupted innocence and Franz West’s innuendo laden collages, Heck’s monumental sized paintings draw from both personal experience and popular culture, creating a heightened sense of drama or glamour from the everyday. Often depicting herself and people she knows, her works operate as theatres of fantasy projection, using the diversity of painting as a means to engage with the potential of imagination.