In the spring of 1957, Henry Faulkner emerged onto the New York gallery scene with his first sale to The Collectors of American Art co-op. From that moment forward, his career began a meteoric rise to fame.
His life’s story was as audacious at it was theatrical. He was deeply rooted in the classics and self-educated. Truly artistic, partly mystic, and by any measure, a marketing genius, Faulkner’s uninhibited talents were predictably unpredictable. He synthesized painting, poetry and the performing arts; he could turn a phrase into a song and glean transcendent colors that expressed the music of his very being from a palette of paint. Faulkner’s artwork creatively incorporated mid-century European art styles with a primitive flourish. At times he was prolific, producing art shows and filling patron requests that ranged from New York to Miami, St. Louis to Nantucket, Cincinnati to Sicily, Key West to Lexington. During this lime-light career, he created an estimated 5000 works of art.
Faulkner’s gifts were apparent to everyone in the room, while his shortcomings and idiosyncrasies glared back at the community at large. His flamboyant charm was often his way of expressing a childlike joy with insights into the humor and pathos of love and loneliness. Faulkner often showered this love upon a menagerie of animals that he expanded throughout his 33-year professional career; one of his most famous companions was Alice, his nanny goat.
Henry Lawrence Faulkner lived his own legend while creating it and became larger than life after his unexpected death. He indeed bequeathed us his imagination; perhaps, he was the bearer of the gifts – the gift of color.