NEAL HENDRIX – Pro Skateboarder & Photographic Anthropologist

Words & Photos By Eric Hendrikx

rofessional skater Neal Hendrix travels to distant and exotic regions of the world, a luxury realized through his talents on a skateboard, talents that have also achieved merits including, among numerous rankings and participation in global events (Neal skated in the closing ceremonies of the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia), his five X Games medals in vert skating. He has participated in the Vans Warped tour for eleven years, skated on Tony Hawk’s Boom Boom Huck Jam, reported for Fuel TV’s show “The Weekend Update” and currently holds the brand manager position at Woodward, a skate camp for kids with locations in California, Pennsylvania and China. Along this tremendous path in skateboarding, Hendrix has developed a deep passion for another form of art that can travel with him—photography.

Aside from packing his boards and a spare set of bearings when bound abroad, Hendrix takes along his camera, capturing moments from his worldwide experiences with the intention of sharing his Western-juxtaposed images with family and friends.  Yet the result of his photographic achievement has reached beyond his inner circle, and beyond skateboarding.  Over the past several years, Hendrix has documented, in a style he identifies as “silent photography”, the very essence of what comprises the social composition of the cities he has passed through, down to the individual.  Actions and expressions frozen in time, tell a massive tale of political establishment, social hierarchy, and cultural variation at a relatively microscopic level—that of the individual.  Hendrix’s secondary discipline, while the phrase photographer comes into play, can be better defined as socio-cultural anthropologist, as he offers honest insight to social statuses and roles, groups, institutions, and the relations among them in distant regions around the world.  

Candid portraits of children jumping off boats into the waterways of Bangladesh; a cobra dancing in the hands of a Moroccan snake charmer; a resident of the vibrant favelas of Rio de Janeiro, are what one could expect to appreciate at a Neal Hendrix photography exhibit. The exhibit will run from November 29 – December 8, 2012 with an opening reception and Q & A on November 29th from 6:00pm – 9:00pm at the Kerckhoff Art Gallery located at 308 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, Ca.