Henry a self-taught Colombian-American Digital Graphic Artist based in New York City.
He has been creating art ever since he could remember holding a pencil, his formal education Background in Architecture, Interior Design, as well as his Retail and Fashion Worked Experience has made him be known for his unique one-of-a-kind art collection.
He started drawing his first pen and pencil geometric lines back in Bogota, Colombia 1965, which made him realized that his dream to be an architect couldn’t be a better time than to draw his own actual house floor plans, as well as the airplane or helicopter that will fly him to his most dream destination.
Once his dream came true to be in New York City, during his college years he drew his pen and pencil architectural renderings.
1973 Henry won his First Prize Award “Pencil Modern Elevation” an Employees Art Event at Bonwit Teller
Specialty Department Store. His deep desire for his art came to life as he started creating his first lines, shapes, and colors in Microsoft Paint a computer-generated graphic software, later he discovered CorelDraw, PhotoshopCS2, Illustrator, and Bryce 3D. He captures his images from a world of imagination with dynamic colors, gradients, shapes, and forms that will take you to the 3D World of Fantasy Sci-Fi Renderings, as you continue exploring his artwork you can see his profound understanding of Abstracts, Graphics, Linear Illustrations, and Eye-popping 3D Effects. Henry’s greatest hope for his Art is that it goes beyond the visual realm and becomes something much deeper and meaningful for the viewer, to surpass all the history of canvas painting with oils, acrylics, pastels, and all other types of painting.
Tell us a few words about yourself.
Henry: I am a New York City Queens resident, self-taught Colombian-American Digital Artist; with a background in Architecture, Interior Design, and Fashion with a long-time successful Retail Career.
Art has been part of me as far as I remembered, it inspired me, takes me to unknown places of enlightenment for my continuous creative growth, both personal and professional.
I began to draw as a child, my very first pen and pencil colorful drawings were geometric figures mixed with rectangles, triangles, and circles that represent the world around us. Later on, I drew the floor plans of our house in Bogota, Colombia in 1965, as I realized that, this is my dream, to be an Architect.
What does a typical day look like?
Henry: There’s no typical day for me, besides being an artist, I do website design, manage social media for some small business owners, and participated in events at The Senior Planet.
Do you just do art, or is art just part of the picture.
Henry: Art evolves in every part of my daily schedule, there are times that during a conversation, meeting, or attending a conference, there’s something out there that makes me see a lines, a colors, a composition that registers on my mind, once I’m home gets in the computer and I start drawing the vision that I saw earlier, that’s how I create lots of my digital art.
Was there a pivotal moment when you decided to follow your path as an artist?
Henry: Yes, when I started creating my first lines, shapes, and color in Microsoft Paint, which is a drawing tool to create simple or elaborate computer-generated drawings. I was totally astonished to see the results, just with a click of a button from the toolbox, filled with an array of colors, brushes, pencils, paint, and all types of fonts, sizes, and colors to create any advertising to be part of my unique digital drawings.
Later on, I discovered CorelDraw 9 f/x a revolutionary program leader in the graphic design industry, as well as Photoshop CS2, Illustrator CS2, and Bryce 3D, a powerful fractal scenery generator software with incredible Atmospheric Effects, Terrains, Materials, 3D Models, and Animating 3D Worlds.
Day by day as I’m using, and combining all these software, I realized this is it!! I will be a digital artist.
You are in a way one of the pioneers of digital art, you won your first award back in 1973 for “Pencil Modern Elevation”. Tell me more about that period.
Henry: Thank you Lisa for giving me this small recognition of me being in a way one of the pioneers of digital art. And yes I do feel that way, although the first truly digital artwork was created in 1967 by two American Artist Kenneth Knowlton and Leon Harmon.
Although I’m six years distant since these two American Artist, I truly feel that 1973 was the beginning of my digital artist career, and what better way than to be able to participate at Bonwit Teller Employees’ Art Show, with one of my “Modern Elevation” done in pencil.
In 1973 I was working as an Assistant Buyer at Bonwit Teller, a Luxury Department Store which was located next to Tiffany & Co on Fifth Avenue, NYC.
1973 a year with so greatly accomplishments retail wise, as well as meeting top fashion designers, Givenchy, Ralph Laurent, Bill Blass, Yves Saint Laurent, I attended Fashion Shows and Art Galleries Exhibitions, where I could learn more about art in general, and to see if digital art would ever be understood to be exhibit at one of these galleries.
1973 The Disco Era, where I had the opportunity to attend some events at the famous Studio 54, where lots of celebrities were there as well, Mick Jagger with Bianca, Fashion Designer Calvin Klein, and much more that made headlines at that time.
Do you have a favorite photograph or painting, which inspires you?
Henry: “The Starry Night” by Vincent Van Gogh 1889, one of my inspiring paintings, which painting portrays a tranquil night on an average evening, the ambiance in the painting evokes some strong emotions, suggesting hope, the bright lights, the stars, shine down over the dark night landscape makes me think of some of my own Bryce 3D rendering artwork, in which I render the sky portraying fantasy sci-fi, golden sunsets, bright sun rays with endless terrains, materials and deep textures to create my final art piece.
How has your style changed or evolved over the years?
Henry: Looking back from my very first pen and pencil hand drawing in 1965 to now it certainly has evolved tremendously, to the level of creating art by scanning an image into one of my computer software programs and add any 3D effects, art strokes, adding textures from hundredths of colors, styles to make that scanning image a complete piece of artwork, e.g. “OCTOPUS TENTACLES”.
Besides my digital computer skills, with the new technologies we have nowadays, I am making most of my recent work using my iPhone, that at any inspiring moment anywhere I can create freeform illustrations with smooth, scalable strokes, as well as any type of advertising post.
Which artist of the past would you most like to meet, and why?
Henry: Excellent question Lisa, Pablo Picasso would be the artist I would like to meet, (though it’s impossible) I did a term paper for one of my art classes back when I was in college. “Guernica”. I wrote about one of his best-known works, regarded by many art critics as the most moving and powerful anti-war painting in history. The figures in Guernica rage across the canvas in a rush of terror. Heads everywhere are flung high and mouths forced open in frozen outcries that reverberate against surfaces as bleak as an echo chamber, a very powerful and stunning painting.
The elemental strength of his art, mystical and earthy, intolerant and compassionate, loving laughter and wild music, like guitars and bullfights it’s saturated with his Spanish sensibility.
Besides the term paper I did on Picasso’s “Guernica”, his work calls my attention “Three Musicians”, “The Women of Algiers”, “Girl with Mandolin”, “Girl Before a Mirror” just to mention a few, all these and more would be the WHY. I related deep down to his art, his thought process looking not for the normal, real or actual natural art, but beyond my imagination creating atmospheric effects, sky rotations, and misty mountains, with a rainbow of spectrum colors not seen in our real world.
What memorable responses have you had to your work?
Henry: My most memorable responses about my work have been incredible, but at the same time some people do not understand digital graphic art, they are so used to see everything in canvas, oil, acrylic painting.
Oh! I have not seen this type of art, what is it? How did you paint it? How long did you spend doing it?
Wow, how beautiful, and creative your art looks, how did you do it?
Your artwork is incredible, which gallery you’re presently showing your artwork?
What is the most recent piece you’ve enjoyed working on, and why?
Henry: “Stairs To Reach The Moon”. I haven’t been traveling to the city for over 3 months, as I am setting on the bus looking at how things have changed, lots of business closed, everyone, wearing a mask, very few people in the streets, I felt that I am in a different world. I got out of the bus since reached my destination as I am walking I look up at the sky and saw a red light through the high-rise buildings in the city, I stopped walking, I stood up but keep looking up saying to myself I wish I could reach the sky.
Once I returned home I keep thinking of my inspiring moment in the city, so I turned on my computer and started to create my most recent 3D Rendering.
Lisa, for your understanding about how did I create this 3D rendering:
- Created a new Sky, by selecting from the Sky Presets library and export it. I choose Fantasy-Sci-Fi Steph MySun
- Created a new Ground Plane, by selecting from the Ground Plane library and export it. I choose Glass Patterned Vertically Light Cover-Stripped Light Glass.
- Created the Stairs, selecting from the Objects Presets then export it. Choose a material to blend both the sky and the ground, so I selected Christmas Ball Patterned Metallic Material.
- Created the Moon, selecting from the Tool Palettes, choosing Sphere and export it, plus need to add material to its sphere, I choose Planetary-Looking Metallic Material.
- Once all these steps are in place then under the Render Controls I selected Render and that’s when the artwork starts taking its rendering process to see my final results.
Seeing the final rendering, that’s when I go jumping out of joy that I was able to create that enlightenment moment that I saw in the city. That’s our moment for all artists no matter what medium we use, to see our final project come to life.
Are there any upcoming shows or workshops we should know about?
Henry: At the present moment I do not have any art shows, but I am working in creating a workshop about digital art since nowadays everything is online, zoom or other platforms that do not require attending an actual in-person workshop.
Do you see your art as serving a purpose beyond art?
Henry: Yes, most definitely, art should be embraced as a social practice, especially teaching art in times of change, embraced new techniques.
It is the time for a change of perspective, shifting the focus from the quality of a work of art to art as a source of knowledge and embodiment of social processes.
My art can most definitely be used in different platforms and performances, it offers new ways to meet consumer’s needs and customize direct messaging for the audience.
The techniques of digital art can be used extensively in the mainstream media, advertisements, and film-making to produce amazing visual effects.
Traditional Art uses traditional mediums that have existed for decades, while digital art uses technologies to produce art.
The advantage of traditional art, an original piece of art is often considered with more detail, than a print of a digital one.
The advantage of digital art, it’s more efficient, easier to get started and work quickly, as well as printing lots of prints where traditional art would take a lot longer to create the same art piece.
What are you currently working on, and what is next for you?
Henry: At the present moment I am working on getting recognized out there by my one-of-a-kind digital graphic designs, lots of opportunities except being as unique as I am, I do not jump into any that I do not feel it’s not right for me.
My greatest hope is that my art goes beyond the visual realm and becomes much deeper and meaningful for the viewer, the public that may surpass the history of canvas painting with oils, acrylics, pastels, and all the medium painting.
What is next for me, two important things!
- Be recognized as a Digital Artist.
- Open my own Art Gallery.
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