Robert Heinecken
Title: Jane Pauley/NBC/Today
Medium: Color lithograph. 1982

Robert Heinecken called himself a “paraphotographer” because he so often made photographic images without a camera. Instead, he based much of his work on images found in magazines, product packaging and television, which he then manipulated and reused.

In the early 1980s, he began creating “videograms,” a term he coined for a series of color photographs he took directly from a television broadcast, without a camera, by fastening a piece of light-sensitive paper directly onto the screen. Some of these were of network TV newswomen, including Jane Pauley.

The lithograph you see on display is based on a videogram of Jane Pauley that was the basis for this distorted image.

Given Heinecken’s ponytailed, casual style during his UCLA years, it’s interesting to know that he served as a fighter pilot in the Marines from 1953 to 1957. [The Korean War was from 1950-53, so he was not engaged in this conflict.]

Robert Heinecken, along with John Baldessari — whose work you see to the left and behind you — and Ed Ruscha, also on the wall behind you — had an outsized influence on the current generation of artists.