Philip Heying is a photographer living in Lawrence, Kansas. Born in Kansas City, Missouri, he acquired a passion for photography at a young age, and learned the craft of black & white film and print development while in middle school. Heying graduated with a BFA in Painting in 1983 from the University of Kansas.
While studying art at KU, Heying received the Sterling Scholarship, an Undergraduate Research Award, and sold a number of paintings. During his time in Lawrence, Kansas, Heying met William S. Burroughs and began a friendship that endured until Burroughs’s death in 1997. Burroughs’s circle of friends, from Albert Hoffman and Allen Ginsberg, to Brion Gysin and Timothy Leary provided artistic insight and guidance for Heying, and during this time his focus shifted from painting to photography exclusively.
Soon after college, curiosity to experience another culture led Heying to France, via coal freighter. Paris not only offered him the possibility of learning a new language, but also a new way of looking at the world and building on his photographic sensibilities.
After his first period of residency in Paris, Heying returned to the U.S. to work as a commercial photographer and printer. He joined the Kansas City Society for Contemporary Photography, sold his first prints, and collaborated with William S. Burroughs making photographs that Burroughs incorporated into his paintings.
Work from this time was subsequently exhibited in Heying's first solo photography exhibition at Galerie Agathe Gaillard in Paris in February 1989. The success of the exhibition was followed by a Residency at the Cartier Foundation in Jouy-en-Josas, France.
After a short period living in San Francisco, Heying returned to Paris in May of 1990 with a solo exhibition at La Societe Francaise de la Photographie. He then established residency in Paris.
Over the next seven years, Heying held solo exhibitions in Switzerland (Galerie Anita Neugebauer, Basel) and again with Galerie Agathe Gaillard (February 1996), while maintaining a robust client base which included International Herald Tribune, Liberation, Le Monde, Conde Nast, Art News, Art in America, and a number of advertising agencies. During this time, a number of Heying’s prints were acquired for the permanent collection of Bibliotheque Nationale.
Heying returned to the U.S. in 1997, settling in Brooklyn, New York, and became an assistant to Irving Penn until the Spring of 2001. Since then he has worked as a freelance editorial photographer for an array of clients, including T: The New York Times Style Magazine, Details, BlackBook, GQ, Penthouse, and the Wall Street Journal. In the Spring 2003, He participated in “Sylva”, a group show at Ariel Meyerowitz Gallery. He has produced a book project, based on ideas inspired by conversations with Albert Hoffman and William S. Burroughs, exploring the intersection of daily experience and imagined realms. He also continued to build a body of photographs that address culture as an element of landscape.
In the fall of 2008, Heying returned to Kansas to live closer to his family and pursue an idea for a photographic survey that began during a visit in the fall of 2005. The inspiration for this work was observation of the energetic processes visible in the Midwestern landscape. The series was completed and exhibited in 2011 and addresses these unstoppable vital forces. He is currently employed as a professor of Photography at Johnson County Community College working on a body of photographs of the surprising variety of architecture, cultural and environmental processes to be found within walking distance from his home.