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Lynette K. Henderson is a visual artist in drawing, painting and mixed media, with a BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (1986), MFA from the University of Minnesota (1989), and a Ph.d. in Art Education from Arizona State University (2006). Henderson currently works and resides in southern California, U.S.A.

Artist Statement

My artwork shows a variety of perspectives about animals and their environments, combined with a strong interest in natural science. I often paint images to study the subject matter through the structure, form and light, and to make sense of environments that are not necessarily friendly or inhabitable.

I mostly create art about animals with which I have had some personal experience, out in the world and in captive spaces. Unacknowledged as part of nature, humans tend to project themselves and their desired or imagined characteristics and emotions onto animals. Preserved in zoos, common to both rural and urban environments, the animals are considered by visitors to be either extraordinary, as pests or even despised rather than admirable, based on human perceptions and imaginings of the value of different species. My current body of work presents animals within both healthy and polluted natural or urban environments, with recognition of the steadily increasing reduction and loss of species. The artworks include both serious examination and occasional humor, presenting the animals in visual context of the various factors that affect their lives within these spaces.

I have become interested in urban areas within Los Angeles in particular; I constantly discover new and strange spaces in the city.  In some artworks I see myself in the animals - as an artist I am prowling around hungrily within urban spaces that provide little sustenance, scouring for morsels in the streets and amongst the scattered detritus of human life. In appearance downtown Los Angeles is not really hospitable for any living creatures, all dirty concrete and asphalt and seemingly unconcerned with aesthetics. The Santa Monica Pier, for example, is really crazy - an invented construct to imitate pleasure with piles of junk items, cooking food, religious fanatics shouting into megaphones, people fishing, music blaring, and swarming seagulls - all jammed together in a small space on and around the pier. Eventually everything closes and gets turned off, then the other animals come out to see what they can find.

NARRATIVES          These story-telling paintings tend to be more complex, including multiple animal figures, grouped together within various natural and urban environments. 

WILD LIFE          These artworks are close-up views of various species seeking to present the living presence of individual animals, including their interesting shapes, forms, colors and textures. 

ENVIRONMENTS        This series of paintings focuses on individual barrels of DDT waste that had been dumped in the mid-20th century and still lie at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, near South Catalina Island, southern California. 

LANDSCAPES      These images are pure enjoyment of the beautiful colors, textures and visual elements that I can capture with my camera and in painting.  I hope to capture both urban scenes and what remains of wilderness in the U.S. and abroad.

Bio & Artist Statements

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