CJ Hendry: A Story of Artistic Evolution

CJ Hendry: A Story of Artistic Evolution

CJ Hendry started her art career in a humble way, making her first sale from her childhood bedroom in Brisbane, Australia. At 26 years old, she posted her hyper-realistic drawing of a pair of R.M.Williams boots on Instagram and sold it for $8,900. Fast forward a decade later, Hendry is now a renowned artist commanding six to seven-figure sums for her works. Her pieces can take over 80 hours to complete, and there’s a five-year waiting list for her artwork. Hendry has grown her practice, employing between 6 to 20 full-time employees and expanding into interactive installations that draw thousands of people eager to experience her art firsthand.

Hendry, who was once a Chanel retail employee, describes herself as a full-time shopaholic obsessed with luxury products. To kickstart her career, she sold all her high-end clothing and accessories and started creating art in her parents’ home. Her work resonated well with the early days of Instagram, showcasing hyper-realistic drawings of high-end items like Hermès bicycles, Chanel No. 5 bottles, Saint Laurent lace-ups, and Louboutin high-tops. Unlike many artists of her stature, Hendry has not signed with a gallery, preferring to showcase her work directly to her 744,000 followers on social media.

In her 2021 show “Blonde,” Hendry exhibited a series of drawings of wigs in a playful, salon-style space. She continuously explores the concept of fame in both her art and its presentation. By sharing behind-the-scenes glimpses into her work through images and videos, Hendry offers her audience an intimate look at her creative process. She even insured her right hand for $10 million, showcasing the high stakes she places on her artistic abilities.

Feeling like a “one-trick pony,” Hendry decided to venture into large-scale installations to push her creative boundaries further. One of her notable projects, “Monochrome,” involved creating a seven-room house with each area saturated in a different Pantone color, accompanied by corresponding drawings. The sensory experience enthralled visitors for three days, highlighting Hendry’s transition from traditional drawings to immersive art experiences.

Hendry’s reach extended to public installations, such as “Straya,” where she displayed Australian slang sayings on road signs across the country. Her interactive exhibition “Plaid” turned an indoor space into a playground, engaging visitors in choices and experiences. Collaborations with art institutions like Phillips demonstrated Hendry’s ability to engage with art enthusiasts in unique and innovative ways, such as exclusive online releases and treasure hunts for her artworks.

As Hendry continues to push the boundaries of her artistry, she plans to unveil new public works in various locations, including New York’s Penn Station and the desert outside Las Vegas. Her upcoming exhibition, “Public Pool,” promises an immersive experience through an inflatable swimming pool, showcasing her commitment to creating engaging and interactive art encounters. By evolving from a bedroom artist to a global sensation, CJ Hendry’s journey underscores the power of passion, creativity, and innovation in the art world.

Culture

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