I discovered the work of Robert Heinecken in the book Special Collections: The Photographic Order From Pop To Now, a wonderful monograph of Postmodern photography from the 70's and 80's. A few years before Heinecken's death in 2006, Christopher Knight of the Los Angeles Times wrote:
"He sometimes described himself as a para-photographer, because his work stood 'beside' or 'beyond' traditional ideas associated with photography. Essentially, the artist decided that in the wake of the media explosion that had come to characterize contemporary life, enough photographs already existed. Rather than make more, he would manipulate existing ones. His art became an attempt to clarify, reveal and sometimes confound the subliminal social, political and artistic codes they contain. Heinecken was among the first to consider himself an artist who used photographs, not a photographer who made them. Today that approach is common. But in the late 1960s, when Heinecken published an influential portfolio of 25 prints titled 'Are You Rea,' the radical nature of the experiment was largely unprecedented."
TV Newswomen, 1986
Image © Robert Heinecken