Step inside Cj Hendry’s Art

Brisbane-born, New York based artist Cj Hendry at the opening of “Epilogue,” her first U.K. solo show, at the New Testament Church of God in East London. Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Cj Hendry.

Over the past five years, Australian artist CJ Hendry has delighted many of her fans. The artist has 681,000 followers on Instagram and continues to grow. Her hyper-realistic drawings recreate other artists’ work.

The now wildly popular scavenger hunt is the subject of an upcoming documentary, also titled “Copyright Infringement”, from David Subshon.

The director spent months filming CJ Hendry in her studio both leading up to and following 2021’s Copyright Infringement 4.0, and was on the ground as she dropped boxes in five cities across North America, Australia, and the UK. It was the largest iteration of the project to date.

Cj Hendry in Copright Infringement after completing the assembly of 50 boxes for the drop in Chicago, Illinois. Photo courtesy of D’Marie Productions

CJ Hendry hosted Copyright 5.0 in 2022, but for those who haven’t participated yet, the upcoming film, which is currently showcased at festivals, could be the best chance to experience the frenzy. The artist said last year’s issue was the last.

The first “copyright infringement” occurred in 2018. CJ Hendry created a line of T-shirts based on Andy Warhol’s Polaroid designs she crumpled. But before she could sell the merchandise, Muhammad Ali’s estate served her with a copyright infringement notice, insisting she couldn’t sell a shirt with a picture of the late boxer.

CJ Hendry didn’t expect her fans to be wildly enthusiastic about the impromptu treasure hunt. Then her online followers suddenly followed her through the streets of New York to try and catch the box. In the following years, the “copyright infringement” craze only grew. The recently released trailer for the film captures this crazy energy perfectly.

Australian artist CJ Hendry started making art as a hobby. But when the artist became successful on Instagram, she dropped out of university to pursue art. In 2014, she made her first sale featuring a pair of boots from Australian shoe company R.M. Williams. They were sold for $10,000. Since then, her compositions have reportedly earned her millions.

Initially, CJ Hendry created large-scale hyper-realistic ink drawings of luxury goods. Her work has always been done in black and white. Each of her works took up to 200 hours to create. Later, she switched to creating photorealistic drawings of items such as disco balls and the $100 bill with the face of Kanye West, which the pop icon bought from the artist.

$100 bill with the face of Kanye West , CJ Hendry

In a 2017 collaboration with fashion house Christian Louboutin, CJ Hendry expanded her practice to include color, rendering hyperreal globs of vivid paint using colored pencils.

CJ Hendry gradually shifted her online fame to success in the real world and now, her collections sell out in seconds for hundreds of thousands of dollars apiece.


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