World through Heery’s lens

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television - Heery’s World,

“My job as a por­trait pho­tog­ra­pher is to se­duce, amuse and en­ter­tain,” the great snap­per Hel­mut New­ton fa­mously said, his erot­i­cally charged black-and-white pho­tos a main­stay of Vogue and other pub­li­ca­tions for decades last cen­tury.

He op­er­ated at the height of his fame in an era when peo­ple were still en­tranced by pho­tog­ra­phy’s al­most mag­i­cal abil­ity to re­pro­duce life in a height­ened fashion and loved be­ing amused by the great en­ter­tainer’s abil­ity to strad­dle the line be­tween fashion and porn.

Now it’s all changed and as Heery’s World, a fine doc­u­men­tary from direc­tor and pro­ducer Ann Jones, asks in a world where ev­ery­thing takes a pho­to­graph: what is the value of pro­fes­sional por­trai­ture?

Shot over what looks like six rather fren­zied years, her beau­ti­fully con­structed film fol­lows cel­e­brated Aus­tralian pho­tog­ra­pher Gary Heery, whose rise to fame be­gan with shoot­ing Madonna’s first album cover in New York. The doc­u­men­tary fol­lows the gre­gar­i­ous and mis­chievous Heery on his many pho­to­graphic quests, tak­ing us to the Ban­di­dos club­house, a gay S & M par­lour and Syd­ney’s Way­side Chapel.

Heery is one of this coun­try’s great un­der­ap­pre­ci­ated artists. “He’s a pho­tog­ra­pher who cap­tures the dy­namic and the su­per­fi­cial­ity of our times,” says Ed­mund Capon.

His pho­to­graphs have “in­tegrity and im­mor­tal­ity in­stilled in them, even though deal­ing with the pass­ing parade of con­tem­po­rary life”. And as this film so be­guil­ing re­veals, he does it by ca­jol­ing, hu­mour­ing and en­ter­tain­ing all those he cap­tures through his lens.

As Jones sug­gests, “We also learn a lit­tle about com­pas­sion, ac­cep­tance, and the open­ness that the cre­ative quest em­braces.” Tues­day, 7.30pm, Arts (133)

Gary Heery, a self por­trait

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.