My Space | Artist Cj Hendry

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    Hyper-realistic artist Cj Hendry takes us through her modern and minimalistic Brooklyn home.

    While hyperrealist Australian artist Cj Hendry is known for her extraordinarily detailed colour renderings, her new home in Brooklyn is all about minimalism and neutrality. Abiding by the maxim – less is more – this is a home where kids run free, nothing is precious, and everything else is a shade of greige.

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    We first met in your apartment/studio in Tribeca in 2016. Much has changed since then – including your location. You made a move to Brooklyn, and I sense that you rarely leave…

    Cj Hendry: I think that the last time I went to Manhattan, it was to deliver my daughter Kenny! I loved Tribeca, but when it came to looking for a bigger studio space, we couldn’t afford anything that we liked. By chance, we came across the perfect space in Greenpoint (Brooklyn), and I have come to love this neighbourhood. Manhattan Avenue feels like a country high street, with its simple and cheap and cheerful stores. We initially lived in a small apartment here, but we needed more space when the kids came along. We looked for over a year, and after a bidding war, we finally could buy this townhouse – but it needed a lot of work.

    You posted some videos on Instagram and it looked like something of a haunted house. You obviously saw the potential.

    Cj Hendry: This house is incredibly narrow and in horrible condition, but we loved the location and the opportunity to live over four levels. But there was very little in the way of traditional detailing that was worth salvaging. 

    What was your vision for the house?

    Cj Hendry: I had seen a very Australian looking home across the street from where we lived. Big openings, modern. I knew that If I ever built a home in Brooklyn, that is what I wanted. We tracked down the architects and gave them a similar brief – to open up to bring in as much light as possible and to make it clean and contemporary. I favour a minimal style.

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    Some people may be surprised that there is very little art on the walls – including your own. What was your approach to the interiors?

    Cj Hendry: I see my art all day, so I don’t want to look at it when I come home. We have one Andy Blank artwork on the wall in the front room (Andy Blank is a commercial, limited edition art business owned by her husband, Lewis), and we have a few pieces from some artist friends. I like empty walls. I just wanted the interiors to be a combination of textured neutrals.  But no white. White is the worst. Too harsh.

    But you definitely have an affinity for designer chairs. 

    Cj Hendry: Oh, I love chairs. I buy chairs and then store them. A few made their way into the house, including a pair of 637 Utrecht Armchairs by Gerrit Thomas Rietveld for Cassina and a Gubi Pacha chair in the master bedroom. I am actually designing some chairs at the moment. Not to sell, just because I love the process of designing.

    Tell us about your offshoot project, Leonard Street.

    Cj Hendry: When I was buying towels for the house, I just couldn’t find anything plush enough that I liked. So I decided to design my own. They are made in Turkey, and I’m obsessed with them. 

    What are your favourite elements in your new home?

    Cj Hendry: Difficult to pin down, but I am really happy with how the custom banquette in the kitchen and the custom sofa in the front rooms turned out. I selected some soft leathers and found a local craftsman to fabricate them. I also love the circular skylight above the stairwell and the outdoor decks, which bring lights down into the house. We love hanging out there in the warmer months. 

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