The show-stopping cityscapes of Henderson Cisz have established his international reputation as one of the finest artists of his generation and a virtuoso of urban style.
Born and brought up in South America, Henderson now lives in London, but still loves to travel the world painting the drama and diversity of modern metropolitan life. He has formed an intense and affectionate artistic relationship with many of the world’s most iconic cities, and his arresting interpretations breathe life into the elegant boulevards of Paris and the imposing skyscrapers of New York.
Voted Artist of the Year by the UK’s galleries, Henderson is also the holder of the coveted John Solomon trophy, which is awarded annually to the artist judged to have made the greatest impact on the art market; a testament to the fact that his work has been both successful and immensely influential in the world of fine art. He has been the subject of a beautiful fine art retrospective and biography, ‘City Living’.
Born in Brazil in 1960, Henderson grew up in a small village near Maringa. His talent for painting was clear from an early age, but he never considered pursuing a career as an artist. Instead he entered the banking profession and continued to enjoy painting as a hobby.
By the mid 1980s however, Henderson had become convinced that art meant more to him than banking. In 1986 he moved to London in order to study painting, and to make his passion his profession. He has never looked back and now paints full time in his London studio.
Painting in acrylic, oil or watercolour on canvas, Henderson’s trademark palette utilises cool, soft tones to convey the atmosphere of his subject. His Original Paintings are highly sought after and his works are regularly displayed in galleries all over the world. “I love the effect that weather has on the urban landscape and must confess to a particular fondness for the rain! Not only does it cast interesting shadows and reflections on the slick sidewalks, but it also dictates the stance of the figures. Their slightly defensive postures and hunched shoulders lend a very specific, and to my mind curiously engaging, mood to the overall scene.”
From New York to Paris, from London to Venice Henderson has formed an intense and loving artistic relationship with these living breathing cities. Although he may have finally settled in London, his nomadic past has left indelible imprints on his lifestyle, not to mention his artwork, as we can see by joining him for a few hours in the life of a truly cosmopolitan artist.
As early as 8am Henderson is already demonstrating the habits of a good New Yorker or Parisian, sitting back, legs crossed in a leisurely pose, enjoying a freshly ground coffee and a basket of croissants “en famille” in his local café. Then it’s off to school for the younger children and back to his delightful mews studio for him and his eldest son, who is currently going in every day to watch and learn both his father’s painting techniques and the art of studio management.
Observing Henderson at work is an education in itself. A charming and unassuming man, softly spoken and with a gentle sense of humour, he transforms when he stands before his canvas. Working from the many hundreds of photographs he takes in each location, his style is surprisingly uninhibited and the studio wall is strewn with riotous splashes of paint that have flicked from his animated brush. The room itself is equally chaotic, with rolled canvases stacked against the wall, interspersed with family photos, sketches and works in progress. Yet out of this apparent confusion emerges artwork that is beautifully resonant of the city it represents.
When he is not travelling, Henderson tends to spend the majority of his day painting in his studio which occupies a lovely West London setting close to the Thames.