The works on view at Joanne Artman Gallery’s intimate Chelsea space track the movements of Heintz’s family from 2000 through 2015. Early images represent domestic scenes—the threesome poised to open presents on Christmas morning, or Heintz and her husband lounging on the couch, illuminated by the blue glow of Monday night football. More recent iterations see the family exploring public spaces, from a field of sunflowers to an ornate banquet hall to the streets of Paris. Across almost all of the images, Heintz smiles saccharinely, or pulls dramatic expressions, while her kin remain unnervingly deadpan. This distinction serves as an acute reminder of the dual nature of “kodak moments.” On one hand, they record family history; on the other, they uphold an unrealistic facade of uninterrupted domestic bliss.
Heinz’s recent shift from private into public environments underlines her interest in surfacing these topics beyond the hallowed walls of art galleries or museums. To create the staged, cinematic scenes in Notre Dame (2013) or The Aisle (2014), Heintz brought her family, a kit of camera equipment, and, in the case of The Aisle, a large crew, an elaborate set, and a bevy of actors and mannequins, into high-traffic areas. In this way, her project was exposed not only to those who would later visit Joanne Artman, but also to many passersby, their curiosity peaked by the unlikely union between woman and doll.