A dusty record spins on a wind-up Victrola.
A haunting beauty watches from a faded circus poster.
Shafts of light pierce the cracked panes of a broken factory….
What Miss Varlow has to say…
Perhaps you’ve wandered in by chance? Here is a bread crumb trail to follow… and lost invisible worlds wait to be discovered at its end. Behold the beauties trapped in a 35mm frame, tales captured in celluloid, moments that rail against death and time.
Burke Heffner is a born storyteller, seeped in the love of noir. His imagination is a landscape of deadly femme fatales and classic pin-up girls, overturned leaves and mysterious microcosms. His sun sets behind beautiful ancient ruins, and the music there is the wind through buildings long abandoned.
Heffner’s evocative photography heralds the land of the lost and all their poisoned apples…
Quotes about Burke and his work:
This is so exciting… Its a little risque… It’s not… Um… Ah… This is not… Yeah… It’s not Porn! It’s definitely not porn.”
–Bill Press, nationally syndicated talk show host.
“This is a great work of art, I must say. Its like something my father would hang in the garage when I was a kid.”
–Bill Press, one week later.
“Guaranteed to get your heart rate going and your blood pressure up.”
–Christy Harden Smith, LeftInTheWest.
“Professionally and sexily lensed…”
–Wells Dunbar, Austin Chronicle.
“The women he captures offer inticate and vibrant mosaics… The viewer is often left with a hungry curiosity, piecing together the plot of his prismatic, silent movie.”
–Sez G, Eros Zine
Burke Heffner is a freelance Filmmaker and Photographer based out of New York City–a setting which contrasts sharply with his childhood.
Heffner spent most of his formative years in the rural west, at times in cabins with no running water, and only a wood stove for heat.
Both his film and photography reflect Burke’s unique origins. A life of starting fires, springtime flooding, and roadside breakdowns at 43 degrees below zero, have given Burke a deep set understanding of the natural world, both physically and emotionally. His stories share that understanding, not as subject matter, but in all the underlying craft. Even in his fantastic work there is something very real, earthy and accurate.
Burke’s photography also showcases his command of the physical world. In stills, his physical mastery shines in his careful lighting and body placement, and his earth born craft gives life to Pin-ups almost dream-like and illusory.
After graduating from high school in Montana, and a short career as a wildland firefighter in Alaska, Burke left the mountain west to pursue filmmaking. He attended NYU’s Tisch School of Arts, and began working in the city’s independent film industry immediately thereafter.
His work has been featured at The Sundance Film Festival, The Berlin Film Festival, C-SPAN, UPN-13, The Los Angeles Times, The Village Voice, The Golden Trailer Awards, Plenty Magazine, Time Out New York, The Austin Chronicle, BoingBoing and more.
“It was such a fantastic experience being photographed–one of the best days of my life. Then after, I was starting to fill with dread. What if I looked silly, dopey, etc?
When I first looked at them–it was a bit jolting. I didn’t recognize the woman in the pictures–was that smiling pretty girl really me? I’ve been poring over the photos and I like them more and more each time. Yes, that really is me.
It makes me think of one of my favorite movie scenes. It’s the scene in Gypsy when Natalie Wood is getting ready to do her first strip. She is very nervous and scared. She’s putting her makeup on almost zombie like. She was never the beauty in the family. She was very tomboyish. Her sister June was the one her mother wanted to catapult to vaudeville stardom. When she comes out of the dressing room she catches a glimpse of herself in the mirror. Her gloved hand reaches out to touch the image and she remarks in disbelief, ‘I’m a pretty girl.’
The photos are that powerful for me!”
–HayDee, New York.
“I write today not only to thank you, but to ask if you have any other pin-ups. As you can guess being in prison and ‘pin-ups’ go hand in hand.”
–Inmate #*****, PA Department of Corrections
Photos of Burke:
photo: Robert and Robbie Bailey
photo: Amber S. Clark
photo: V. Varlow