Mr. Hendricks is Wreaking Havoc in Bozeman

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Havoc Hendricks
Havoc Hendricks

The Architect’s Wife is certain that Havoc Hendricks was predestined to be an artist. Not only does his name vibrate the abstract art concept, his inspiration for becoming an artist came at a very young age when he noticed an abstract painting in a neighbor’s living room and he was determined to make beautiful paintings just like it.

Ours is a modern day love-affair with Havoc. We discovered his conceptual take on mountains, geodes and moonscapes on Instagram and quickly asked him to send several pieces for the shop. Read on to learn more about why we’re so smitten with this guy and discover his hidden talent (hint: it involves the color blue and it is spectacular). Without further ado, meet Mr. Hendricks.

All images by Laura Hendricks unless otherwise noted.

How long have you been working as an artist?

Almost 8 years.

How did you get started working with paint?

My neighbor had an abstract painting in their living room that I really loved as a kid and I remember thinking that I wanted to learn how to make beautiful paintings like that. I’m a self taught artist. While art students learn a lot of valuable things pertaining to the craft, I feel like I was able to discover a lot of informal techniques that helped shaped my creative expressions in ways that might have been stifled by academia.

Tell me about your process.

Each series employs different techniques, tools, etc. My Mountain Lines series uses a technique where I build up different layers of paint on a canvas and then I strategically remove certain parts of the various layers to expose what’s underneath whereas others in the same series require me to hand paint each line individually. My Geode Collection uses a type of marble technique that involves making the oil paint as thin as possible to help it take on the natural fluid shapes that I’m looking [to illustrate]. My Moon series involves a process where I mix different colored sand (sourced from places all over the United States) in order to give the paintings a three dimensional texture that really gives the illusion that’s realistic and abstract at the same time.

Havoc at work on
Havoc at work on a Geode (left) and a Mountain Lines piece (right)

Where does your inspiration come from?

Anything that combines “MINIMAL – ABSTRACT – POSH – ORGANIC”. I am on a journey to make organized chaos in the most beautiful way possible. I’m also inspired [a great deal] by “future me”. Future me is a person that has his dream house and he tells me if something I’m making is of a high enough visual quality to belong in his perfect home and [whether] it’s something that he’ll want to stare at for the next twenty years.

Name a living artist that you admire.

I have so many, but Ran Ortner drops my jaw without any thinking required. What do you like about his work? Ran has the ability to capture one of the most complicated patterns that nature can produce.

Emerging artist?

Mike Nesbit is an architect in L.A. who creates amazing abstract art using his architectural expertise. What do you like about his work? I Love how Mike uses his extensive architecture training & profession as a platform from which to express his abstract art. There’s a touch of perfect, mathematical undercurrents throughout his pieces that I’m always drawn to.

Non-living artist?

Sol Lewitt explored lines and shapes in a way that I find myself referencing quite often. What do you like about his work? Sol Lewitt did all the hard work for me. He explored and pushed to the for-front of the art world the many patterns and relationships that lines share with each other- both two & three dimensionally.

Your pieces have a strong tie to the natural world, but your pieces have an abstract quality to them. How did you decide to blend those two very different worlds?

I am obsessed with the fact that the same line patterns can be found in all of nature’s elements: rock, water, cloud patterns, wood, fire, etc. I also found through many years of making art that my true talent lies in abstract expression. It was a simple marriage of the two for me.

painting, artist
Three separate paintings in Mr. Hendricks Geode Series available at The Architect’s Wife.

What advice do you have for aspiring artists?

I think a hard thing for aspiring artists is to come up with a style that is unique to them and them only. I’d say you’ll only be as good as the amount of time you put into developing your skills & through years of practice you’ll naturally gravitate toward some aspects [of your technique] and discard others. Eventually what you have left will be unique and have a quality others will respond to. Before I was making organized chaos I was just making . . . chaos.

Your wife is also an artist, a photographer to be exact, do you draw inspiration from one another? Do you do old-fashioned critiques like you experienced in college?

More than you could ever imagine. We literally run everything by each other to have that second tier of visual approval before we [reveal anything to our audience]. Being brutally honest about each others art is indispensable and I wouldn’t be anywhere near where I am today without her input. Often times we leave the house and realize we’re dressed almost exactly the same!

The dynamic artistic duo: Laura and Havoc Hendricks . Thankfully, Laura forgot their first encounter.
The dynamic artistic duo: Laura and Havoc Hendricks . Thankfully, Laura forgot their first encounter and the rest is history.

How did you two meet?

We were both in college at a rollerskating party. I thought she was the hottest girl I’d ever seen. I almost messed everything up when I squirted her with a squirt gun to get her attention. Lucky for me it was dark and when I introduced myself to her a month later she had no idea that I was the same annoying guy from the skating rink. How did she express her annoyance? The second time I skated by her I was met with a soul-penetrating stare of pure dissatisfaction. She later told me that she was “just kidding”.

Havoc's interpretation  of Lone Peak for the Architect's Wife.
Havoc’s interpretation of Lone Peak for the Architect’s Wife.

How long have you lived in Utah? What brought you to Utah (please disregard if you are a native)?

We’ve lived in Utah for a total of 5 years now. We originally moved to Utah because of the outdoor opportunities and it happens to be a central location between both of our families.

Where are you from originally?

I grew up in a small neighborhood in Idaho Falls, Idaho. The neighborhood was literally called “McDonald’s Farm”. On one side of our house was an open canal and acres of potato fields on the other. I attribute my creativity and attention to detail to many long childhood years wandering the countryside with nothing but nature and my own mind to keep me company.

What do you love about Utah?

We live in a narrow valley that has a lake on one side, a mountain range on the other side, and only three miles between at it’s shortest point. The inspiration and recreation is endless! Provo, Utah is one of the best kept small city secrets in America.

What’s your favorite place to go out in Utah?

There’s a pretty amazing burger house called Cubby’s that isn’t predictable, boring food.

What book are you reading right now?

Catch Me If You Can, by Frank W. Abagnale

Favorite color?

Black

Favorite TV show?

Survivor

What music are you listening to these days?

Only the best from the genre of Chillstep.

No cheating. What are the last three things you’ve Googled?

Ha, ha! This is such a good question!
1. Timberland winter extreme 9″ super boot.
2. Who & what issues will be on the 2016 ballot Utah county.
3. Build your own Adidas Superstars.

Anything else you’d like me to know about you?

A lot of people don’t know that I had a short stint as a Blue Man in The Blue Man group. ?

Do tell more! How and where did this come about?

I was attending Grad School at James Madison University (in Virginia) when I saw an ad for open call auditions for The Blue Man Group. I went out of pure curiosity and only to get a free “behind the scenes” experience. Only, when I auditioned, they got really excited and kept telling me that I was a “real” Blue Man in real life & that they didn’t think they’d have to train me very much. After a couple more days of call-backs and auditions they hired & spirited me away to live in Manhattan where I trained with four other recruits from around the country. Because I was the only one who didn’t have a degree in acting, I had no idea what language the trainers were speaking every day. After a couple months they finally admitted that I should take a hiatus to get an acting degree & then promptly return to join their ranks. However, instead of going to acting school- I realized the world of professional creativity was at my fingertips and I chose a route that has been much more suited to my long-term artistic goals. And that’s how I became a Blue Man on accident ūüôā

Havoc as a Blue Man. Can you guess which one he is?
Havoc as a Blue Man. Can you guess which one he is? Image courtesy of Havoc Hendricks.

Stop by The Architect’s Wife downtown furniture store to take a closer look at Havoc’s work and to understand why we love his work so much.