|Barkley Leonard Hendricks with his famous painting What's Going On in the background|
Between music and painting, there exists a brotherly connection, so suggests Marvin Gaye's 1971 song What’s Going On and artist, Barkley L. Hendricks. The artist was regarded as lending his brush strokes to give Gaye's music a painterly lift.
Sadly, on Tuesday, April 18, 2017, Hendricks died, aged 72. How did Gaye music and Hendricks' paintingconnect? As an artist whose painting, covertly leaned towards Pop Art, his work, inspired by Gaye's What' s Going On, according to sources, expanded the then art landscape of what was described as the age of protest art. With Hendricks' painting, Gaye' s music benefited from the unfolding protest-art contents of African American of the 1970s, three years after What's Going On hit the streets, a source said.
Hendricks’ subjects were mainly those he thought as under represented black Americans of the 1960/70s. His works are in the collection of institutions such as National Endowment for the Arts, National Gallery of Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Studio Museum in Harlem, among others in U.S.
Hendricks has been described as a pioneer painter whose work energised black portraiture in art. Indeed, his work suggests similarity to contemporary portraitist, Kehinde Wiley.
Born in Tioga, North Philadelphia, Hendricks was the eldest child of Ruby Powell Hendricks and Barkle Herbert Hendricks. He was educated at Simon Gratz High School and Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA). In 1967, at Yale University, he received bachelor's degree and later a master's degree.