Destined to become a world traveler and famous artist, Henry Faulkner spent his troubled and impoverished youth a vagabond, making numerous stops along the way. Living by his wits, he honed his natural talents and perfected his fl air for the dramatic. He was blessed with an intuitive charisma and the voice of a New Orleans nightingale, enabling him to weave himself into the fabric of the rich and famous. But he also sought solace among the less fortunate, the poor and downtrodden. That was Faulkner’s style. He had a notion and a purpose for anybody and everybody who tried to understand him and who was willing to lend him a helping hand on the road from notoriety to renown.
Many who knew him considered him eccentric. An impulsive and creative person, he defiantly and courageously flaunted effeminate ways at a time when attitudes toward the gay community could be filled with danger and hateful disdain. He was frequently viewed with skepticism, condescension, and condemnation, but he was also adored for his alluringly impish and joyful ways.
Faulkner’s circumstances were sometimes complicated by stepping outside the law, overstaying his welcome, or taking advantage of others’ generosity. Yet it seems that his strong-willed aspirations did not negate his sheer delightfulness. His fertile imagination was a conduit for success. The outcomes, however, were periodically a magnet for troubling accusations. As one fortuitous incident after another occurred, he stayed artistically focused and ignored rejection and denunciation.
His art and poetry guided him like a lighthouse on a distant shore, allowing his wild inspirations to sail freely across the oceans of his visual fantasies.
Throughout his career, patrons and acquaintances responded to his ebullient spirit with both adulation and disparagement, but he remained committed to exploring and expressing his love of nature, his joy for animals, and his desire to understand the mysteries of life and death.
Faulkner supported his increasingly expensive lifestyle as a professional artist for over three decades with money he earned from the sale of his artwork. From the late 1950s until his tragic death on December 3, 1981, he was prolific. His body of work may have exceeded 5,000 pieces that are now mostly in private collections and seldom for sale.
Since his passing, his artistic legacy has gained momentum. And as more art enthusiasts discover Henry Faulkner, the appreciation broadens for his fanciful mid-19th-century European style and for his compelling life story as well. The monetary value of his paintings continues to grow as verified by appraisals, gallery sales, and auction prices. Any piece of Faulkner’s artwork, whether it be a sketch or an oil panel, is now a solid investment, and when a painting does arrive in the marketplace, the price continues to escalate. The historical significance of Faulkner’s artwork extends beyond its place in the history of American art; his works are internationally known as well.