Audrey Heller – March, 2012 Featured Artist

Audrey Heller and

A small apartment in the San Francisco Bay Area.

When was the last time you ate a pancake?
I had French Toast last Sunday, but I don’t think that counts.

Favorite day of the week?
Thursday. Obviously.

Favorite website besides your own?


Give us a brief description of you and your artwork.

My photography draws from my background as a theater director and lighting designer. I have been working for a long time with mixed scale scenarios, using the disorientation that results from these surreal scenes to draw attention to the beauty and power of everyday objects and daily interactions. I also love playing with optics, both of the eye and the camera. My latest series, Linger, which is mounted on Plywerk, comes from that exploration.

For the last dozen years, I’ve been showing my work, rain or shine, at top outdoor art festivals all over the country, as well as more stable, indoor venues. I have a book, I’m in a book, I’m on some book and CD and magazine covers. And all over the interwebs.

What's your goal as an artist?

To encourage people to see things that they might otherwise overlook. It’s not necessarily about introducing NEW images or new ideas, as much as re-introducing people to things they see but don’t look at. On a really good day, I might re-introduce them to things they think and feel, but haven’t articulated. My book title “Overlooked Undertakings”, refers to bringing attention to our world.

Why did you chose photography and working with miniatures?

From an early age, photography was the most satisfying visual medium for me. I couldn’t reflect what was in my head through drawing, but I could in photos. I have always worked in and around theater, so the miniatures became proxy actors for me, staring in my tiny productions.

Favorite type of melon?


Where do you draw inspiration from?

People. Places. Things.

I am inspired by people with vast curiosity and an ability to communicate their passions and ideas, whatever their field is. I am inspired as much by science and history as by painting and sculpture. I always cite Jacques Cousteau and Dr Seuss as strong influences, and heroes because they introduced me to new ways of seeing the world.

I am inspired by places, and the different ways that people relate to space, and the way space affects how people relate to each other. I have had the opportunity to travel around the world for adventure, but my art fair travels have introduced me to parts of the U.S. that I never would have seen. This country is full of surprises, and I encourage you all to go looking for them! (hint: If you’ve never been to Kansas City, you’re missing out)

I’m inspired by things, and the stories they tell. My first work in theater was in the prop department, and it taught me that one teacup is not the same as another teacup. And object tells the story of its creation, its acquisition and its use. How is it designed? What is it made of? Where is it worn out? A lot of the objects in my photos are things I grew up with or live with now. The crayons in “Shades” were used by the kids in my life, and I love how the way they are worn down gives you a clue about the pictures that were drawn with them.

What was the last full album you listened to?

Victor and Penny, Antique Pop. My copy is signed.

Top three movies of all time?

Robin Hood (Flynn!), The Graduate, Holiday (Hepburn/Grant)

Favorite living artist?

Anselm Kiefer

Favorite deceased artist?

Artists are immortal.

Scale of 1-10 (low-high), Picasso's Blue Period?


Scale of 1-10 (low-high), Andy Warhol's Campbell Soup?


Who would win in a typography duel between David Carson and Dino dos Santos?

Comic Sans would kick both of their butts. (profanity warning!)

Who would win in a paint off between Gustav Klimt and Pierre-Auguste Renoir?

Renoir. Klimt would be all wrapped up in some quilty, blanket thing and would have a hard time holding his brush.

Who would win in a photography battle royale Ansel Adams or Henri Cartier-Bresson?

Tough one. Henri would be more nimble, but Ansel has the bigger gear. One good whack with that tripod, and it would all be over.

Have you seen this high speed video of jello?

Seen it? Hell, I posted it on my Facebook Page.

Why do you chose to show your artwork on Plywerk?

I wanted an alternative to traditional frames that still felt finished and substantial. I love how the edges of the ply look, and that it becomes part of the piece. In my Linger series, I was working with a lot of horizontal lines in the images, so having those carry through into the ply was really nice. HEY! Did you know that when you get a Plywerk, they orient the grain so that the stripey side is always on the vertical? I think that’s really classy, because they could just cut one piece and put two keyholes in it, and say you could hang it however you want. That would be easier, but artists never make things easy.

Does thinking of Plywerk give you love butterflies in your stomach?

Oh yes. Oh yes! You know, I was at a party the other day, and I SWEAR Plywerk was looking at me, and I was like, OMG, is this really happening???

Would you describe kohlrabi as more of a turnip or radish?

More of a cabbage.

Favorite hair style?

Marcel. I like the word, and I like the shell with shoes on.

More about Audrey

Audrey has a background in theatre and light design. Her playful personality and spirit for life are echoed in her artwork. Her creative and unique artwork have appeared on book jackets, album covers, magazine pages, and walls around the world. Most people who don't smile when they see Audrey's artwork are eventually discovered to be soulless creatures similar to The Grinch, just minus all the Christmas jazz.

Win an Audrey Heller Print on Plywerk

Post a comment bellow and you will automatically be entered in a drawing to win a 14x18 Audrey Heller print mounted on 3/4" bamboo Plywerk!!! We'll select a winner at random at the end of the month so make sure you come back to the blog in early April to see if you won and to check out the new featured artist! We'll ship it anywhere in the continental US for free. If you win and need it shipped internationally, you're on the hook for shipping costs. Sorry to be so mean.

23 thoughts on “Audrey Heller – March, 2012 Featured Artist”

  • Loshini Moodley-Yiskis
    Loshini Moodley-Yiskis March 1, 2012 at 8:11 am

    Awesome work Audrey, what a talented artist!. We would be honored to give my daughter one of you prints for her 9th birthday (11 March). She takes after-school art classes at her Montessori School.

  • Sarah Tew

    Loving your work, Audrey! Great stuff and Plywerk seems like the perfect mount for it too. I really enjoy the mini-scenes, really fun and inspired.

  • Steve Santiago

    Audrey's work is amazing. I have seen some of her photos before but now I have bookmarked her site. Great stuff!

  • Meredith Dittmar

    I dig Audrey and miniatures!! (and plywerk too)

  • Mary Reinard

    I love Audrey Heller's work and appreciate her comment "I am inspired by places, and the different ways that people relate to space, and the way space affects how people relate to each other." Her power of observations is all the more delightful because of her seemingly natural ability to see humor within the (often times odd) relationship between our perceptual and physical worlds. Nice work!

  • Mikael Monk

    Maybe she got the idea about the abstract photography from my site. Sure looks like it.

  • Debbie Boissy
    Debbie Boissy March 2, 2012 at 2:45 am

    So much fun! I love her work.

  • Rachel Hamilton
    Rachel Hamilton March 2, 2012 at 2:50 am

    Audrey's stuff is the BEST! It's really hard to have a bad day when the first thing you see in the morning is one of her photos.

  • Stephanie Howard

    Audrey, I am so happy to see your amazing photos here! They are always delightful to look at, and I like them even better reading about your process & inspirations. xox

  • Linda H.

    I didn't know that Ms. Heller has a background in theater. No wonder her scenes remind me of miniatures/models that I've seen from set designers!

  • Nana Kirk

    I have "Urban Culture" proudly displayed in in my living room. Reminds me of my spare time. In fact, I'm looking at it right now!

  • Susan Willats

    I've been a fan of Audrey's work with miniatures for a long time, but I love the new Linger series!

  • pd

    I need to try the plywerk mount for my pics.
    The Linger Series is calm and hauntingly beautiful. Audrey Heller is an artist comfortable with both serious and whimsical subjects. I like the crayon landscapes and the divers perched on the cereal bowl. I can't keep from smiling.

  • Jan Sebastian

    I loved the interview with Audrey and her photo's are so creative and fun! I would be proud to have one hanging on my wall!

  • Kevin Warn

    It is hard to find a photographer these days whose work is really standing out from others. Her images are a fresh new look into a small part of a really big world. Thanks for sharing your art!

  • Lauren

    I LOVE everything about your work, Audrey! Just wonderful in every way. Your interview was very delightful and thought-provoking as well. Best to you!

    • Garrett

      Lauren is our lucky winner of an Audrey Heller print mounted on Plywerk! Please email us at to claim your prize and get us your address.

  • Kristine Schaefer
    Kristine Schaefer March 16, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Great idea. Had two look twice before I realized it.

  • Ariel

    this stuff is brilliant! i love all of it.

  • Judy Jackson

    You take me away to a magical world Audrey, thanks for that.

  • Ashley Moorman
    Ashley Moorman March 26, 2012 at 3:49 am

    I saw Audrey's work at an art festival this weekend in Houston.
    I couldn't stop giggling at the wit that she brings to her art. I've never seen anything like it!
    Needless to say, I went home and immediately ordered 2 "bite sized" prints ("fish out of water" and "challenging conditions"). I'm secretly hoping that she does one of the other scuba diver prints in bite size so I can have an awesome trifecta hanging in my home!

  • Scott Pakulski

    We would love to have another Audrey Heller piece in our home!

  • Joan

    Great work.

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