The Trophy Room. | CJ Hendry.

In The Menu, Visual Arts by Quiet Lunch

A self-professed “lover of products,” CJ Hendry’s recently debuted her solo exhibtion, The Trophy Room in SoHo. A New York based artist known for her hyperrealistic drawings, Hendry has been often referred to as the future of pop art. Quiet Lunch was in the building the night of her opening reception.

Hendry’s process touches upon our deep, often emotional connections to consumer items in a whimsical way — artifacts from our past, objects we exhibit great attachment to possessions we covet for social status, among others. This consumer cult mentality is personal to Hendry, and drawing these objects is a way for her to process and mask her own vices. This inspection of icons in relation to Hendry represents her lifelong obsession with luxury and otherwise highly-c­ovetable items.

Inspired by architecture and advertising, Hendry’s fascination oscillates around marketing strategies and brand recognition. In a world where the constant barrage of social media influences informs our every purchase and lifestyle choice, Hendry chooses to both scrutinize and idolize these status symbols. These iconographic objects dictate a fetishism that draws on the accoutrements of naivety and youth under the guise of fashion, the unattainable masquerade of social media perfectionism, and brand marketing and product placement.

“My team and I were so excited to find this space in New York’s Soho area. It suited us perfectly and reflected the concept of the show so well. The Trophy Room explores items that we covet as icons, starting from pre-adolescent toys like rubber duckies or Mr Potato Head, all the way up to luxury items that symbolize wealth and power, such as a Birkin bag or Louboutin shoes. We are so thrilled that the show has sold out so early and just helps us to grow our vision for the future.”

CJ Hendry.

In addition to depicting luxury brand imagery and creating custom works for celebrities including Floyd Mayweather, Hendry involves aspects of social justice with her brand. After the shootings in Orlando, the artist created an image of a T­shirt in the shape of a pistol, dripping with blood. The work was flown over several major cities in the US with the slogan #ENDGUNVIOLENCE trailing behind. Perhaps her most infamous social justice work to date, #SneakerDead, Hendry destroyed a pair of Air Nike Mags by dipping the sneakers in black paint. She created an ink drawing of the result, which was in turn auctioned to charity to purchase shoes for Sheltering Arms, which serves youth in the Bronx, Harlem, Brooklyn and Queens.