Gia Hendrix is a Philadelphia-based visual artist that creates mostly abstract portraits and landscapes. She recently signed with the newly-formed Salt Gallery. Hendrix has been gaining a steady following over the past year and has been constantly evolving her style. She explains that, over time, painting “became less about making something look a specific way and more about making the process the main event.” Read our full interview and check out Gia’s artwork below.
I’ve had the pleasure of watching you evolve as an artist over the past year – I feel as though your artistic style has completely shifted. How would you put this change into words? And what would you say caused it?
Delving into the art world so young I was easily influenced by everything I was learning about at the time. I took a lot of inspiration from famous artists whose work I found to be entrancing and used their style as the gateway to creating my own works of art. In my case the shift that caused the look of my work to change was being driven to create things that felt personal to my experiences, therefore allowing myself to create more freely and in a fluid way. Painting became less about making something look a specific way and more about making the process the main event. I have maintained the same devotion to learning and being inspired but it has come less from outside sources and instead from a much more personal perspective as I continue to grow into myself and allow myself to create more candidly.
How has social media affected you as an artist?
Utilizing social media has allowed me a platform to display my work to a large audience and network with other creatives, therefore creating new opportunities to grow and expand both personally and artistically. Although, as much as social media has created a sense of community on sites like instagram and twitter, there is definitely pressure to constantly churn out work and post it for the world to see, which can result in pieces that are impersonal and mediocre. That can be a big downside to the creative process. I notice myself less likely to step out of my comfort zone in fear that it may look too different from what I usually show online or that it’s not palatable, but ultimately I think it’s a matter of balance. I am still working on doing my best not to compare my art, and especially not let the pace at which I make work influence my creative process in a negative way.
Who/what are your greatest artistic inspirations?
Visually, I am heavily inspired by artists like Francis Bacon, Picasso’s early work, Chaim Soutine, Kay Sage, and Joan Mitchell. Conceptually, I am most inspired by the human experience. After taking some psychology classes in college that piqued my interest I was motivated to understand my reactions to the world around me and painting was the most efficient way for me to accomplish that.
Do you have a favorite piece that you’ve made so far? If so, which is it?
My favorite piece i’ve made is titled ‘Seven Devils’ after the Florence and the Machine song that happened to be on repeat at the time of making the painting. I had gone through a year of unrest and ever-present anxiety, so with no intention of what I’d be painting, I created the most authentic and raw piece I had made up to that point. It was like word vomit but in the form of creating- completely unintentional, but a much needed regurgitation of everything my mind had endured and held in for far too long. ‘Seven Devils ‘ ended up becoming a sort of impressionistic skeleton with eyeballs falling out of the figure’s skull which symbolized the darkness they had seen and so badly wanted to forget. It is definitely a piece that will stick with me for a long time.
Where do you want to be in five years, ideally? What about in 20?
In five years I hope to be connecting and collaborating with other creatives and participating in gallery shows & exhibitions. In twenty years I hope to be recognized for my art and be financially stable enough to dedicate all my time to it. More than anything, I hope to feel confident in the meaning of my work and comfortable with my artistic style and the way I naturally create.