Meet Heather Morgan’s painted vixens this weekend at Fountain Art Fair…

SHK has teamed up with photographer Kelsey Bennett in this ongoing portrait series, featured in SHK Mag with continuous profiles here on the blog, capturing the most creative influencers roaming NYC this year. 

artist heather morgan portrait

interviewed & photographed by KELSEY BENNETT for H.A.G.S.

HEATHER MORGAN is a painter, bon vivant and chanteuse with a sable brush. Epitaph reads: “It was worth it.”

“The beautiful is always bizarre.” — Baudelaire

When walking into Heather Morgan’s studio one finds themselves seduced by armies of painted ladies, decadent and twisted in a surrealistic world. With playful contempt in her eye and a strap hanging off her shoulder, the aging woman in Who’s Gonna Shoe Your Pretty Little Feet invitingly displays a birthday cake that reads “Happy Mother’s Day,” in Time Honored Fur two identical woman fondle each other at the foot of a grand staircase, and in Sourpuss a woman who appears bored yet slightly amused shows us her bush . These woman are always in the mood and with a demanding stare or a theatrical gesture, they dare you to be apart of a fantasy that is Heather Morgan’s paintings.

heather morgan madonna painting

THE WOMAN IN YOUR PAINTING ARE BLESSED WITH THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BREASTS I HAVE EVER SEEN, DO YOU GET TURNED ON WHILE YOU PAINT THEM?

Sometimes the sheen of juicy oil taking the shape of creamy flesh *does* make my brain rather misty.

CAN YOU TELL US A BIT ABOUT THE COLLAGE WORK THAT’S INVOLVED IN YOUR PROCESS? YOU PULL FROM MOVIE STILLS SOMETIMES? CAN YOU NAME A FEW?

I use collage to create scenes, placing figures in opulent interiors or unusual spaces that suggest stories and psychological situations. Film seemed a natural resource for storytelling elements, particularly given my fascination with artifice. I have used stills from Butterfield 8, Female Trouble, Paris, Texas and The Jerk. I also find Fassbinder visually very inspiring.

heather morgan crossing you in style

I’M LOOKING AT YOUR PAINTING CROSSING YOU IN STYLE RIGHT NOW. CAN YOU TELL ME WHERE SOME OF THE COLLAGE PIECES CAME FROM? 

Kevin Ayers, experimental musician and beloved screwball, died recently. In memory of him, I used the scene of his “Carribean Moon” video as the backdrop for this picture. Only I pushed the scene in a “moon river” direction and found a writhing girl in a magazine online to be my compromised lady. “Crossing You” is a fitting double entendre for this defiant vixen.

THROUGH WHAT HUMAN QUALITY DO YOUR DAMAGED SUBJECTS FIND THEIR CONFIDENCE?

They have the imagination to create themselves anew.

dolly parton painting

MOST OF YOUR PAINTINGS ARE LARGE SCALE, EXCEPT FOR SPARKLEHEADS. CAN YOU DESCRIBE SPARKLEHEADS? WHAT DO YOU ENJOY ABOUT PAINTING ON A SMALLER SCALE? HOW CAN AN SHK READER GET THEIR VERY OWN SPARKLEHEAD?

Sparkleheads are portrait miniatures with glittery backgrounds. I started that series painting heads from ’60s girl mags, with the idea that every face can be a star when rendered with a bit of sparkle. I love capturing odd characters, incorporating whimsy and tragedy with a brush the width of an eyelash. Lately, I’ve delved into painting miniatures of actual stars. My favorites are the eccentrics — Klaus Kinski, Edith Massey, Susan Tyrrell and Faye Dunaway in Mommie Dearest. John Waters has the portrait I made of him at his studio. I take requests, whether it’s your favorite film star, rock star or your favorite aunt. Everyone should sparkle!

heather morgan prince painting

x Commission your own Sparklehead ($65 4×5 oil on canvas ) by emailing Heather at thestarboy.org 

 or find her Exhibiting her work this weekend at:

Fountain Art Fair
69th Regiment Armory
(Lexington Ave. & 26th Street)
Manhattan, NY

Friday, March 7 12pm through Sunday March 9 at 5pm

Opening Reception Friday March 7, 7pm -Midnight x

 “The acronym of Have A Good Summer, H.A.G.S — a sentiment scrawled across the pages of yearbooks — is the title of my ongoing series of portraits, resembling what the kids of my dream High School would look like. They’re the artists, musicians, writers, outcasts, rebels, or just members of a rad gang.”  — Kelsey Bennett 

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