Habitat is a weekly series that visits with artists in their workspaces.
This week’s studio: Daniel Heidkamp; Sunset Park, New York. “I often write about my paintings,” Daniel Heidkamp told me. “Thinking about my work through literary terms has definitely helped to shape the solo shows I’ve worked on and build narratives.” Heidkamp, who is 35, was discussing the most recent artist statement he wrote, for his current show at Pace Prints, which runs through December 24 and which features a series of paper pulp paintings. “Applying paper pulp is basically like painting, but somewhat more delicate,” he said. “The canvas gets mushy—you can’t just take a brush and work the surface. You kind of have to drip it on. You have to be sure about it and also embrace the nuances and mistakes. I think painting will always be my primary focus, but I’d like to explore how my art can apply to the whole range of print making techniques.”
Heidkamp has been at his Sunset Park studio since 2011 and typically works 9 to 5, occasionally doing a night session. While working, he prefers listening to new music. “With the Internet it’s easy to find something new bubble up,” he said. “You can hear it before there is any baggage attached…I listen to Spotify on privacy mode so I keep all my indulgences secret, like listening to the new Lana Del Rey album a dozen times in a row.” Below, Heidkamp shows us some pieces he is currently working on, preparing for a show with Half Gallery at the Edition Hotel for Art Basel Miami Beach and a show at Loyal Gallery in Stockholm, Sweden, for early next year.
ALL PHOTOS: KATHERINE MCMAHON
"I use all oil paint, and occasionally watercolor. The earliest layers have a little medium, and I also often wet the entire canvas first. I compare it to cooking—you have to add olive oil first to get the whole thing going."
"This night cityscape is a work in progress. When depicting New York, I get to be something of an architectural critic. Here I edited out the High Line, and am not sure if I'm going to paint it back in. I'm struggling a little to get these buildings to feel a certain way. There are things I wrestle with in the studio, and in the end, the viewer doesn’t need to see every part of the struggle."
Some of Heidkamp's materials around the studio as he prepares work for Art Basel Miami Beach, where he'll be showing with Half Gallery at the Edition Hotel.
"These were all painted in Gloucester, Massachusetts. I rented a house in the beginning of the summer, and a different one at the end of the summer. The first one was more modern, and the second one was more like an old school, 1800s, Edward Hopper, mansard roof type of house. I was using these houses as big outdoor studios."
The view from Heidkamp's Sunset Park Studio.
A painting by Heidkamp of a cherry blossom tree near the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
"This painting is an inside joke of one: myself. My first painting ever was of a little pink bear I had as a kid. When I was painting the blossoms from the Central Park series, I had all this leftover paint and at the end of one day I put it all on this canvas to try to recreate the bear painting."
"For every painting I practice and make studies. It’s a process–based approach, which Is why I have a lot of stuff in here."
"My hope is that even though my paintings are literal/observational, I want the feeling that there's another current going on underneath."
"When painting from life, the hope is that the subject is steady, and the artist moves. I did this painting of the Eiffel Tower last fall. The painting hasn't changed in months, but with so many powerful recent events, this image feels entirely different.