Barkley Hendricks painted his first portrait in 1964. Two years later, while traveling around Europe, Hendricks found there to be a notable lack of Black portraiture in Western art and was determined to change that upon his arrival back in the States.
The subjects of his life-sized portraits, both friends and strangers, were painted with realistic portrayals of dress, gaze and pose to illuminate the portrait with a sense of poise and dignity. Hendricks’ attention to detail is purposeful because he believed the way people present themselves demonstrates how they want to be seen by the world. The subject’s gaze invites the viewer in; it can be direct, welcoming, challenging, playful or a combination of them all. The directness with the viewer emphasizes the subject’s confidence.
Title: Lamont on the Case
Artist: Barkley Hendricks (1945 – 2017)
Medium: oil on canvas
Dimensions: Image size: 72 x 50 images; Framed: 72 ½ x 50 ½ inches
Accession Number: H77.35
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