Miles Hendricks is an artist who makes works that revolve around a cast of essential and idiomatic subjects or characters, including doves, cats, wizards, castles, toadstools, clowns, dragons and Pokémon. There is a dark and dreamy energy to his paintings. Though they have a strong narrative bent, which gives them the feel of illustrative plates in a fantasy tome, they also have the vibe of pencil case doodles. Simultaneously imaginary and culturally concrete, there is irony here too, as he sidles up to the kitsch and clichéd: a trio of rabbits bent over a fire; a dragon breathing fire; an abstracted wizard sitting in the mouth of what could be an underground lair, maybe concealing a fire. Though he also makes woodcuts where images are reduced to their essential elements, his choice of painting materials are significant. Beginning with a canvas of unprimed and/or dyed linen or raw cotton, he works with an array of materials, including chalk, crayon, oil pastel, ink, charcoal, and felt marker. His mark-making is expressive and immediate, with an energy and layering that feels worked and re-worked. In this way there is a surprising softness to his paintings, which despite everything else also makes them feel very sincere, personal.
Miles Hendricks (b. 1997, Wellington, New Zealand) lives and works in Wellington, New Zealand. He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (First Class Honours) from CoCA Massey, Wellington in 2018. Recent exhibition highlights include: mmurr, ASHES/ASHES, New York (2021); The Bower, Sumer, Tauranga (2020); Little, Big (with Lily McRae), Furniture Gallery, Auckland (2020); Smiling and Despised, curated by Plague & Underground Flower, 16th Century Merchants House, Krasnodar, and Abandoned Jail, Perth (2019); Spring 1883, Sydney, with Sumer (2019); and The Widening Gyre, Sumer (2018).