Sunday, April 11, 2010

Barkley L. Hendricks: Birth of the Cool

I saw these this weekend at the Contemporary Arts Museum. Crazy stuff.

The story goes that African-American painter Barkley L. Hendricks began painting his life-size portraits of people of color after a post-collegiate trip to Europe in the '60s turned up museum after museum packed with nothing but portraits of whitey. With an eye on blaxploitation stereotypes, Pop, and American Realism, the Philadelphia-bred Hendricks made a big splash with his vibrant portraiture, and had his mainstream debut at the Whitney in 1971.

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