I entered the private room at the W Hotel South Beach where Acura hosted the launch of their 2010 Acura ZDX four-door sports coupe. As I struggled to capture an image of a photograph on display, a tall figure of a man approached me and uttered, “I can give you a link to my website for better images.” I turned slightly towards him with a half smile, and introduced myself. “I am Daedrian, I am here to interview you.” We both laughed.
Erik Madigan Heck is a young and upcoming fine art and fashion photographer who has captured beautiful images of arts and fashion, including works of Helmut Lang, Valentino Garavani, Christian Lacroix and Jean Paul Gaultier. Erik grew up in a home surrounded with art. His mom was a painter, and his dad was a collector. It was only natural for him to fall in and be comfortable in this industry. “It’s all I know,” he said.
In addition, he is also the publisher of Nomenus Quarterly, a hybrid online/print publication that features the world’s most influential artists, institutions and fashion designers.
The Acura, Erik Madigan Heck partnership will feature Erik’s work alongside the 2010 Acura ZDX throughout seven US cities. The cities are Miami, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and New York.
Like the introduction, the interview was rather casual. Erik touched on his involvement with photography, his age and the partnership with Acura.
Erik does not currently own an Acura but hopes at the end of the tour, Acura would be generous and offer his mom a car.
PGM: How did the partnership come about between you and Acura?
EMH: They asked me. Their car was designed by 23 years old. They had this car they were super hyped about-like design, young people, so they wanted to partner with young artists they saw as young and upcoming, so they found me.
PGM: What did you think about the approach and what was your reaction?
EMH: I work predominantly in fashion, so these are taken for Jean Paul Gaultier, Valentino Garavani, among others. Most of my clients are high fashion. High fashion partnerships happen all the time. It is retarded how easily that is. So Acura is kind of refreshing because it wasn’t a fashion brand, and I could kind of do what I wanted. They wanted me to show my work alongside their car.
PGM: Do you think the Acura brand is hip or for the young crowd?
EMH: No-but my work isn’t either. For me, when I think of Acura (a) You have to have money, they are not cheap cars. That’s like a $65,000. The consumer that is going to buy that car is also the consumer that I deal with, so it is a similar clientele.
PGM: Do you own one?
EMH: Well I am trying to get them to give my mom one. My mom needs a car.
PGM: Will they do it?
EMH: They better for this is on record, and you are the fourth media outlet that I have told they are giving my mom a car. I might put it in the newspaper, cause when it’s published I will be like look, “you guys don‘t have a choice.” I think so, that’s a possibility. I live in New York, so I don’t need one. I would get an Acura.
PGM: I am going to bring up your age again. Was your age a factor in obtaining the clientele you have acquired?
EMH: The weird thing in fashion is, it’s like an odd industry in the sense that young people can be really successful, and it’s not weird. If I were a CEO at Goldman Sachs, it would be weird. People would be like, “You must have experience.” Fashion thrives on youth; that’s the essence of fashion. It is more weird for an older person to have success. It is definitely hierarchies that are built into fashion that are hard to penetrate, but once you are in, there age is not even considered. I know kids who are like-kids-doing dope work.
PGM: What was the inspiration behind your work?
EMH: My mom is a painter, my father is a collector, so I grew up with art. I used to paint, so it was in me since I was born. I don’t know how to do anything else-one of those classic.