Snapshots

 

Snapshots |  Heydt’s third collection of watercolors, are idiosyncratic: a painting of his teenage daughter leafing through a fashion magazine while stuck in traffic evokes both the heat of the summer sun and her vague boredom. Heydt sets a Newport lobsterman, not on the water but in his office, the walls and desk a collage of receipts and invoices and outdated calendars. In a Paris street scene, police gather around an injured pedestrian lying on the ground. Heydt’s subject matter recalls the conventions of photography more than those of watercolor. There are no lazy-day boats in the harbor or picturesque rock outcroppings in these pages. His shot of a Parisian fishmonger tending his stalls feels just like that – a snapshot. This effect is no accident. Heydt came to painting via photography and, in some of his paintings, you can feel the effect of the lens distending the borders of the picture plane. His use of paint is equally unconventional. Rather than layering delicate washes of pigment, building methodically on the white of the paper, he paints vigorously, in choppy, abrupt brushstrokes that have a painterly energy.  The result is a collection that feels deeply personal. To residents of Heydt’s two stomping grounds, Newport and Paris, many of these sites and people will be instantly familiar: this kiosk, this fishmonger, this lobsterman. These images are like snapshots – a year in the life. Which is what they are.   |   Charlotte Bruce Harvey