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“In a hypnotic journey I found my answer and no longer questioned it. My artistic life and philosophical desires were united.”

The Odyssey of Artistic Awakening

Kohlene Hendrickson‘s journey into the world of art began in the sun-kissed landscape of California, a world away from the Swiss vistas she now calls home. This geographical shift mirrors the profound transformation in her artistic endeavors. In her late twenties, Hendrickson experienced a pivotal moment, a wake-up call, that propelled her into the realms of metaphysics, philosophy, and psychology. This exploration was not merely academic; it became the bedrock of her artistic philosophy. Her mentor’s words, emphasizing the need for an artist to cultivate an inner life, resonated deeply with her. By the age of 34, Hendrickson was grappling with existential questions about her talent and its purpose. The answers she sought came through a hypnotic journey, a transformative experience that harmoniously united her artistic life with her philosophical inclinations.

The California native’s artistry is not just a career; it’s a culmination of lifelong curiosity and a relentless quest for self-discovery. Her artistic inclinations were evident from a tender age. At four, Hendrickson found her haven in a box of crayons, losing herself for hours in a world of color and creativity. This early passion laid the foundation for her later pursuits. Despite studying Fashion Design at FIDM, it was a discerning illustration teacher who first recognized her true calling as an illustrator, not just a designer. This revelation set her on a path of artistic exploration that would define her career. At 22, under the wing of a professional artist mentor, Hendrickson honed her skills in drawing, pastels, and oils, an education that strayed from the conventional Beaux-Arts trajectory. However, her journey was far from linear. While working as a commercial artist in the fashion and music industry in Los Angeles, she realized her need for a more personal artistic expression.

Kohlene Hendrickson: A Tapestry of Style and Mediums

Kohlene Hendrickson’s artistic style, best described as abstract figuration, is a captivating blend that often incorporates human forms, whether in full ecstatic experiences or exploring the myriad emotions and frequencies of human existence. Her unique blend of work is inspired by a new cutting edge world philosophy, taught by the mysterious teacher, David J. Temple, called Cosmo – Erotic Humanism. Inspired by Temple, her work has evolved into what she refers to as Cosmo-Erotic Humanism. This style is a testament to her belief in the interconnectedness of the human spirit, the divine, and the multi-dimensional facets of existence. Hendrickson’s work is not just a visual experience; it’s a philosophical inquiry, a journey into the depths of human emotion and experience.

The artist’s creative process is as unique as her style. Music and soft natural sunlight are essential elements in her workspace, providing the perfect ambiance for her artistic endeavors. Even in the absence of her cat Raja, her constant companion, she finds solace in the organized chaos of her materials. Working predominantly alone, Hendrickson embraces the solitude, finding it conducive to her creative process, free from the distractions of the outside world. This serene environment is where her thoughts and ideas coalesce into the mesmerizing artworks that define her career. Her influences are as eclectic as her style, drawing inspiration from the likes of Egon Schiele’s linework, Morris Louis’s paint pouring and transparency, and Sabine Danze’s wildness. These influences are evident in her work, yet she transforms them into something uniquely her own.

The Alchemy of Materials

Kohlene Hendrickson’s choice of medium is as distinctive as her artistic vision. With a deep appreciation for natural materials and craftsmanship, her journey into the world of encaustic painting was almost serendipitous. It was during her studies in fresco painting that she discovered the rich potential of encaustic paint, a medium that perfectly aligned with her artistic ethos. The process of making her own paint from beeswax, damar varnish, and pigment was not just a technical endeavor; it was a deeply personal one, allowing her to infuse her spirit into every layer of her work. The richness and versatility of encaustic paint captivated Hendrickson. She appreciated its quick-drying nature, yet its ability to be reheated and reworked provided her with a boundless canvas for experimentation and expression.

Hendrickson’s exploration of mediums didn’t stop at encaustic paint. Her fascination with transparency and movement led her to incorporate watercolors into her pieces. By making her own watercolor paints using pigments and gum Arabic, she ensured a harmonious blend with her encaustic work, creating layers that were not just visually appealing but also compatible in terms of tint. This layering technique was further enriched with the addition of oil paint, adding another dimension to her already intricate works. The convergence of these mediums in Hendrickson’s art is not merely a technical achievement; it’s a testament to her commitment to exploring and pushing the boundaries of artistic expression.

Kohlene Hendrickson: A Visionary’s Projects and Aspirations

Kohlene Hendrickson’s recent project, “The 12 Faces of Eros,” marks a crowning achievement in her illustrious career. Inspired by the book “A Return to Eros,” this monumental work represents the culmination of four and a half years of dedication and artistic evolution. Encompassing 15 paintings, a book, a dance performance film, and a documentary, the project offers a multidimensional exploration of Eros in its many forms. First presented in Belgium and scheduled for exhibition in Lecce, Italy, as the principal display of Art Woman 2024, “The 12 Faces of Eros” not only reflects Hendrickson’s artistic vision but also demonstrates her mastery over various mediums and her ability to weave them into a cohesive narrative.

Looking to the future, Hendrickson is preparing for her next ambitious project, a venture delving into themes such as Lines and Circles, Unique Gender, and Hieros Gamos. This upcoming project, in collaboration with Marc Gafni, author and think tank co-president of the Center for World Philosophy and Religion, aims to explore contemporary issues through a diverse range of imagery. The project’s scope includes a book to accompany the artworks, highlighting Hendrickson’s commitment to integrating literary and visual arts. Her continuous pursuit of challenging themes and willingness to explore new artistic territories underscore her status as not just a creator of art but as a visionary, constantly pushing the boundaries of what art can be and the conversations it can inspire.

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