Meet Eric Hendrikx: The Philanthropic Journalist Behind “ROCK & ROLL FOREVER”—a Sold-out Art Exhibit Funding Men’s Mental Health
At the Peter Triantos Gallery in Toronto’s iconic Bloor-Yorkville, crowds attended en masse for opening night of Eric Hendrikx & Peter Triantos ‘ROCK & ROLL FOREVER’, an altruistic art show dedicated to raising funds and awareness for men’s mental health. If attendance is any indication of success, the spacious gallery is jam-packed. On the airwaves, handled in person by DJ WAVES—Ben Harper’s Fight For Your Mind, Foo Fighter’s Times Like These, Guns N’ Roses Sweet Child O’ Mine. “WAVES and I curated the playlist to sync up with my artwork in the show and music that has always inspired my work,” says Hendrikx. “We wanted people to experience the music and the visual work together.”
Up on the gallery walls, sparkling brilliantly in diamond-dusted, large-scale, colourful canvases, are images of Slash, Dave Grohl, Zakk Wylde, Ben Harper, Fergie as photographed by Hendrikx and rendered by modern abstract artist Peter Triantos.
The exhibit is focused on Hendrikx’ photography taken over the past decade while writing for Rolling Stone and REVOLVER. “Rock & Roll has always been there for me, especially throughout my formative years when I was most vulnerable. And men’s mental health has always carried a stigma preventing many men from being able to openly share their struggle and find the help that they need. Anything that I can do to contribute to those efforts is a big priority for me,” says Hendrikx. In alignment with this, Hendrikx says that proceeds from all sales will benefit men’s mental health and suicide prevention through Movember and The Unison Fund.
In attendance, Toronto’s Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson says, “I’m honoured to be here with Eric Hendrikx and Peter Triantos. The art we are experiencing in this exhibit is about community—it’s who we are as a city.
Great talent is important to recognize, but the element of dedicating their support to those struggling, those people in need of help, is exceptional.”
When he’s not busy creating brilliant art gallery fodder, writing compelling celeb profiles for Men’s Journal, or dedicating endless hours to charitable causes, Hendrikx works as Creative Director at NKPR, a Toronto-based PR agency founded in 2002 by his wife, Natasha Koifman-Hendrikx. The two met back in 2019 after Hendrikx watched Koifman’s TED Talk online about the importance of showing up for others. Koifman’s positive vibes compelled Hendrikx to write her a letter and share some parallels between the two. Chemistry came quickly the two decided to meet in person in New York City to see where it led. Today the couple is married, living in Toronto with their two black Labradors—Kody and Poe.
A long-time writer and photographer, Hendrikx co-wrote the book Zakk Wylde’s Bringing Metal to the Children: A Berzerker’s Guide to World Tour Domination with Ozzy Osbourne’s lead guitarist of thirty-five years. “I spent a good deal of two years staying at Zakk’s home or on tour while we worked on the book. Growing up, Zakk was my guitar hero. So, to write a book together was really a dream come true,” says Hendrikx. The book is currently celebrating its ten-year anniversary, having been printed in multiple countries and languages.
Since then, Hendrikx has been incessantly writing interviews for Rolling Stone, Men’s Journal, Playboy and REVOLVER. Over the past few years, he rode motorcycles and interviewed with Keanu Reeves, barbequed with Jason Momoa for the cover of Men’s Journal, and performed pranks and interviewed with Wee Man and Bam Margera of the Jackass movie franchise.
A global ambassador for the Distinguished Gentlemen’s Ride (DGR), Hendrikx was named 2019 Grand Marshal for Orange County, California. The global motorcycle event raises funds and awareness for prostate cancer research and men’s mental health programs on behalf of the Movember Foundation. In May of 2022, Hendrikx launched the inaugural Distinguished Social Affair, a men’s mental health fundraiser held at the Ritz-Carlton Toronto. Hendrikx’ contributions to men’s health make him the second highest DGR fundraiser in Canada and among the top fifteen in the world.
With a favourable outcome, the ‘ROCK & ROLL FOREVER’ gallery sold out during its two-week premiere, with one final piece to be auctioned live on September 10th at the Artist for Peace and Justice gala. The non-profit organization supports access to education for impoverished youth in Haiti to create a pathway to meaningful employment and a sustainable future.
“Everything is connected,” says Hendrikx. “Creating positivity in people’s lives begets the framework needed to support good mental health.”
With a humble spirit, Hendrikx says of the success of his efforts this year, “This is just the beginning.” The altruistic journalist said he has sights on becoming number one in support of the cause.