Henry Symonds's White Christmas offers a post-colonial critique by drawing on icons of art history and popular culture. The foreground figure quotes British Pop artist Richard Hamilton’s ubiquitous screenprint, I’m dreaming of a white Christmas (1967) that incorporates a still from the Bing Crosby film Holiday Inn. Behind him lounges Madame de Pompadour, the influential mistress of King Louis XV as immortalised by celebrated court painter Francois Boucher.
Henry Symonds completed his undergraduate studies at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town and gained his Master of Fine Arts at the Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland University, in 1999. He has exhibited widely in New Zealand, South Africa, the United States and Europe. He is represented by a number of works in the South African National Gallery. He is currently Dean of Instruction at Whitecliffe College of Art and Design in Auckland, New Zealand.