On the Town: Artist's story is in the details of his work

As a seemingly endless stream of family, friends and supporters packed their way into Burbank's Creative Arts Center Gallery for the opening night reception of Nicolás Henderson's "Everywhere at Once" exhibit this past Friday evening, the artist couldn't help but become a bit overwhelmed.

"From the time I was very young, I have been to this gallery many times," Henderson said. "But never did the thought that I would someday have an exhibit here ever cross my mind. It's very exciting."

Henderson, a fine artist who works in the medium of 35mm film and digital photography, studied at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena before moving to New York City, where he continued his education at Parsons School of Design.

Explaining that his work stems from his obsession with textures, colors and what others may consider to be incidental elements of an image, many of Henderson's offerings have been created by "layering" his images and re-photographing background details through various mediums including glass as well as screens from computers and televisions.

Whether it be a photograph of people, objects, architecture or the places he has encountered on his travels, Henderson says he is influenced by "the power of an image to trigger a chain reaction of memories and tap into one's own life experiences for an emotional response."

He became emotional when pointing out a black-and-white photograph of a vintage lace gown.

"That was my grandmother's wedding dress from the 1930s," he said. "I took that shortly after she passed away and we were clearing out her house."

While Henderson says he is aware that it may be a stretch to find a theme in his show that will run at the gallery through the end of January, but for him, the images he has chosen to exhibit do work in concert with one another to tell a story.

"Even though the images may not seem to connect with one another, there is an underlying theme of death, loss, memories and the paradise of an afterlife," he said. "Most of these images were created during and shortly after the time I lost two of my grandparents and then spent time in Hawaii trying to come to terms with their deaths. I've always been attracted to tropical environments and when I saw Kauai for the first time, all I could imagine is, 'if we have such beauty here on Earth, what must the paradise of an afterlife be like?'"

Henderson's photography has been featured in publications such as Fanzine 137, Metal magazine, Fine Art Connoisseur, Teen Vogue magazine and the New York Times.

Among the notables who enjoyed perusing his work in the exhibit were Edith Palm fashion designer Sarah Aaronson, Lisa Lucas, who serves as the publisher of Guernica magazine, fashion designers Tennessee Hamilton and Ryan Wanta, Santa Monica Museum of Art Trustee Price Latimer Agah, film and television director Sam Esmail, and singer and actress Emmy Rossum, whose screen credits include "Mystic River," "The Day After Tomorrow," "The Phantom of the Opera," "Poseidon" and "Beautiful Creatures."

Others in attendance at Friday's opening reception included Henderson's partner, Kimball Hastings, mother, Thelma Henderson, sister, Mikaila Henderson, longtime friend Elysa Gomez and local artists Pete and Laney Grazino.

The Creative Arts Center is located at 1100 W. Clark Ave. in George Izay Park.


DAVID LAURELL may be reached by email at dlaurell@aol.com or (818) 563-1007.

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