Jamie Michele : 4 Stars – out of 5
Subtitle: A Novel About Art, Artists, and the Art Revolution
Author: Tom Hendricks
Genre: Fiction – General
Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers’ Favorite
Portraits by Tom Hendricks is the story of a co-op art group, forged out of their mutual distaste for the corporatization of the Dallas art scene. It follows three main characters, Jack Labas, Francesca (aka: Mary Wollencroft), and Missy U. The co-op itself involves artists comprised of its nine artists: Jim Dias, its leader, Harvey Carter, a landscape artist, Linda Jenson, Jim’s girlfriend, Raymond Kirk, a Rothco disciple, Wendy Phillips, a still art painter, Sarah Williams, another landscaper artist, Karen Griffin, a painter of large-scale portraits, Jack, a figure painter and the main protagonist, and Francesca, a clothing designer who replaced Marty Kao, a street scene painter who leaves the co-op. Missy U is a fan of Jack’s work and his ever-present pen pal, who turns out to be far more committed to his art and ultimately a saving grace to the group as a whole. The group grows and their popularity among the public expands beyond their greatest hopes, while Jack finds love with Francesca and encouragement from the shadowy Missy U. While Portraits by Tom Hendricks does a great job of following the plight of an artist and its extension into every aspect of an artist’s life, namely in love within this story, where it really shines is in its portrayal of the community as a whole. A reader gets a strong sense of the impact of art and its influence across other media and genres of life that unfurl before you, displaying its far reaching promise and the potential to impact even the most remote corners of a community. Yes, at the heart of Portraits is a love story, a love triangle, but its soul delves deeper into a layered plot that draws out a more widespread implication: that art is the axis of all things beautiful, significant, and real. With some polish and a round of things beautiful, significant, and real. With some polish and a round of good editing, the bones of Portraits by Tom Hendricks has great potential.
As of the time of this review, the spelling and grammatical mistakes let it down, although do not detract from its manifesto as a whole. Highly