CJ Hendry is one of Australia’s greatest Insta-famous art exports, with her hyperrealistic sketches earning hundreds of thousands of dollars and adorning walls across the globe.
The CJ Hendry treasure hunt was established in 2018 when, after completing a series of hyperrealistic drawings of Andy Warhol polaroids, she received a stern copyright infringement notice from Muhammed Ali’s estate. Ali was one of the subjects of her artwork, and they had not granted her permission to use his face. Consequently, the drawings – as well as the t-shirts printed with her artwork – became unsellable.
In a marvellous ‘fuck you’ turn of events, Hendry then packaged the t-shirts in red-boxes spray-painted labelled ‘copyright infringement’ and dropped them in random locations around NYC where she resides. It caused an absolute frenzy, and a year later, Hendry decided to recreate the magic with another Copyright Infringement treasure hunt in Melbourne and Sydney – this time, it was with Richard Prince’s Instagram Art (an artist who toes the line of copyright infringement himself).
Naturally, the response was once again massive. People were literally stalking Hendry and breaking laws just to get a glimpse of a box, reminiscent of Pokemon GO during its peak. The only key difference is there’s a worthwhile reward for those lucky enough to score a Copyright Infringement box.
Fast forward to present day, and Hendry has decided its time to do it again: five different cities, over four days, with a whole lot of goodies up for grabs. This year’s tees are dedicated to Neon artist Tracy Emin, which you’ll be able to find in Sydney, London, LA, Brisbane, and New York “… sometime in September”.
With some dickheads re-selling the tees on eBay for upwards of $5,000, you can see why the buzz around these boxes is real. And just to be clear, Hendry herself despises the people who join the hunt just to make a quick buck. So try not to be that person.
Yes, the world is currently balls deep in a pandemic, so a CJ Hendry treasure hunt is exactly what we need.