In December 2020, Sotheby’s sold a painting by Barkley L. Hendricks for 4 million dollars. Hendricks never became a household name when he has alive despite his immense contributions to contemporary painting. Kehinde Wiley, Mickalene Thomas, Amy Sherald are a few contemporary artists directly influenced by him. Barkley L. Hendricks went to Europe on an educational trip and fell in love with the Rembrandts, the Van Dycks, and the Velazquez. He found his own race was absent from Western art, leaving a void that troubled him. Upon his return, he set about to change what he saw in Europe by correcting the unbalance, making his friends, relatives, and strangers the subjects of his life-size portraits, but using the chiaroscuro, genre-style compositions, and byzantine iconography he saw in Europe. In a classical copyist style, we will use closeups of Barkey Hendricks portraits as image sources for our portrait paintings, so we can study his bone structures and the rich skin tones on our translations.
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