On a visit to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts a few months ago I came across a series of oil portraits by painter, Barkley L. Hendricks. Philadelphia born and raised, Hendricks is a pioneer in black portraiture, painting life-sized images of African-American men and women from the Northeast.
To me, his painting are quintessential Philly. The images remind me of the photos of my mom and dad from the 70s – sporting big afros, and out-of-this-world outfits.
You can see paintings from Hendricks’ career, dating back to 1964, in his Birth of the Cool exhibit. Check out Duke University’s Nasher Museum of Art for a catalog of the show, and some behind-the-scenes video of Hendricks with his works.