Stark white walls brought out the brightly colored art of Nelson De La Nuez on Thursday at Cartoon Network Studios in Burbank.
With signs welcoming visitors to “Pop Land,” the opening reception for De La Nuez’s exhibit and book signing drew crowds to familiar pop-culture images with unique twists — Dorothy left behind by the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion, and Alice in Wonderland chatting with Humpty Dumpty and Mr. Peanut.
De La Nuez, a Hoover High School graduate originally from Havana, Cuba, has taken all the iconic pop images from his youth and splattered them on canvases in his Pop Americana series.
“You come into this world and you don’t know anything,” De La Nuez said. “You kind of just absorb everything, and that was exactly what I did.”
After taking an interest in both art and science in high school, the aspiring artist waited until he was in his 30s before committing himself to becoming a professional artist.