Barkley Hendricks the King of Cool

Colin Beach

Born in 1945 Barkley Hendricks born and raised in Philadelphia Pennsylvania Has spent his life creating a vast amount of work portraying the African American figure and portraiture of African Americans. Having experienced the civil rights movement first hand as well as societal oppression from being a minority Hendricks began confronting these social issues through art in the 1960’s.

Hendricks primary subject matter is the portrayal of African Americans particularly from the northern states going about their everyday lives. Revolutionary in its own because up to this point the black figure had never been glorified or thought to be “beautiful” by mainstream american society at the time.


Hendricks addressed the black figure in a sleek and sophisticated manor in an attempt to sway the common image of African Americans. However this alone wasn’t enough for Hendricks, he soon began to paint life size nude African American male figures in an…

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