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Troy Henriksen is an American plastician artist who originates from Norway. His optimistic style, close to the movement of Bad Painting, makes the public indulge in dreaming. His paintings and creations on Plexiglas reflect an imaginary world, fuelled by memories and expectations. His art swings between tangible realities and allegories. Tangible realities: cities, cars, prominent people such as Marilyn, Rimbaud, the Native American Sitting Bull, Ghandi, James Dean, etc. Allegories: hearts, or the same prominent people, who are symbols in their own way. They share a common trait: the bloom of colours that makes life so much more cheerful.

Troy notices that like every child he was pretty much attracted by colours. But he states relevantly that unlike his comrades, he can still remember this impression. Colour shows through his paintings and gives them all their deepness. His taste for painting dates back to his childhood when he was a sailor boy. To visions on the sea or on land. On board the fishing ships, with his senses stimulated, Troy admired the sky and the sun. Back on terra firma, he was used to seeing his fellow fishermen paint on ship’s hulls. Originating from a fishermen’s family, young Troy would inevitably become a fisherman, or... a painter. He has been a fisherman until he had got 28 years old, the age when stability overwhelmed adventure. After an ambiguous experience with drugs, Troy discovered life again, through... a yellow painting pot, laid down in his flat in Boston.

From this moment on, Troy got more and more interested in the history of painting: abstract impressionism, surrealism, Dadaism, impressionism, then the Beat Generation, German expressionists and the Bauhaus. Chicago, Los Angeles, New York punctuated Troy’s route. But Boston has always remained his hang-out. Troy discovered France there. Through a copy of Le Petit Prince, that his friend Helen Frankenthaler offered him, and through Rimbaud, whose photograph stroke him for they are look-alikes. These encounters, as accidental as didactic, urged Troy to leave the United States for Paris.

1998: Paris. Troy managed to hold France to happy surprises. The encounter with his future wife, Delphine Perlstein, and with his future gallerist, Eric Landau. And that is not it. His permanent presence at the Galerie W gave a boost to his career, for it enabled him to increase public awareness of his art. That is why Troy is a source of inspiration for other artists: Arthur H., the French musician, dedicated his album “Les Négresses Blanches” to him. Ten paintings by Troy were hung in the dressing room of the French humorist Gad Elmaleh in the Olympia during the two months of his show. Troy likes to claim he is a new man. A well-adjusted artist, in fact.


Respectfully Yours, Galerie W – Paris (France)

- Something For Luxembourg, Galerie Michel Miltgen – Luxembourg (Luxembourg)
- Troy Henriksen, Crédit Mutuel Arkéa – Brest (France)
- 10 Years Retrospective with Art Rock – Saint-Brieuc (France)

The Memphis Moonlight Happening, Galerie W – Paris (France)

- From The Other Side - Plexiglas Painting, Galerie W – Paris (France)
- New Man New Identity - L'exposition / Le Livre, Galerie W – Paris (France)

ICADE, Musée de l’Arsenal - Paris (France)

Les Toiles à l'Etoile, L'Etoile – Paris (France)

Solo show, Galerie W – Paris (France)

Solo show, Moerchen Anne Galerie – Hambourg (Allemagne)

Solo show, Galerie W – Paris (France)

- Hugues Chevalier – Paris (France)
- Galerie R.A.M – Paris (France)
- Two solo shows, Galerie W – Paris (France)
- Cities – Courchevel (France)
- Solo exhibition in the Stark Hotel with Reading by Will Self – London (U.K)

- Hugues Chevalier – Paris (France)
- Two solo shows, Galerie W – Paris (France)

- Gallery 5620 – Los Angeles (U.S.A)
- De Ark Gallery, along the Franz Hals Museum – Harlem (Holland)
- Galerie Art Tisane – Paris (France)
- Salon Style, 10 rue de Buci – Paris (France)

Up South Gallery – Boston (U.S.A)

- Artscape Gallery – Boston (U.S.A)
- Pearle Street Gallery – Boston (U.S.A)
- Art Zone – Boston (U.S.A)

Ideal Expressions Gallery – Boston (U.S.A)

The Other side Café Gallery – Boston (U.S.A)

Trident Café Gallery – Boston (U.S.A)

Troy Henriksen
The Book « New man new identity »
« New man new identity »
Critères éditions

First book dedicated to Troy Henriksen.
Bilingual French - English,
182 pages,
process printing,
235 x 285 mm.

Troy Henriksen unveils his road that leads to painting, from his childhood on… A young fisherman’s life, a quest for identity, encounters with art… A new life. An autobio/graphical story – vivid, strong and founding – with photographs, sketches and some works of art by the artist.


My name is Troy Henrik Henriksen. I was born under a good sign on Sept 30 1962, early in the morning at St Luke’s hospital, New Bedford, Mass., seven years to the day and hour of James Dean’s tragic car crash death. […] New Bedford is an old whaling and fishing town made famous by Herman Melville’s book, Moby Dick […]

Troy Henriksen

[…] Life for me as a child was magical, mystical, poetic, philosophical, always colorful and sometimes horrific. One day I took a screwdriver, attached a rope to it and began trying to throw it into a white puffy cloud passing by overhead. My plan was to climb the rope and travel with the cloud, to come on down at about Texas, drive a red truck and deliver pink cakes […]
Troy Henriksen

[…] When I was about 26, I went up to Kodiak Alaska to fish one winter. Me and about six other guys all went. Fishing alongside the mountains on cold nights with the sea quiet and calm, the air blue and hazy, the moon full, is like being in a dream. But the weather could turn on you in a minute – strong gale winds out of nowhere with 20-foot seas and grey black clouds […]

Troy Henriksen

[…] I knew now I had a new road to go down and I was eager to start walking. It didn’t matter where this road was going, how far it was or what I needed to go on it. I instantly felt a higher sense of truth and freedom. For me it was the real meaning of the prodigal son returning home, the feast and celebration were all within. I got a screwdriver and opened the can of sticky magic paint. I finger-painted the whole apartment, all the walls with Egyptian-like figures, words, symbols, numbers and faces, depicting my return to life. From that moment on I knew I had to live on land and paint, a free man […]

Troy Henriksen

[…] I booked myself a room at the Saint James hotel in the Latin Quarter. I grabbed my sketch pad and ran out to get some more coffee to keep me going, to fight off jet lag. I fell in love with Paris immediately. Who wouldn’t? […] Quiet parks with forgotten pasts, statues, children and lovers. I soon found the parks I liked, where I was a guest of their mystery and saved from the inner chaos that can take over when you’re on the road […]

Troy Henriksen

[…] After being in Paris for a year, I did not yet have a gallery. I had approached several galleries and they told me my work was good, but I needed to find a gallery to grow with. I was able to sell maybe two paintings a week by working on the street. I knew of Gallery W and its owner, Eric Landau, and always thought he was a pretty cool guy […] His little gallery on Rue Burq in Montmartre had its own aura of truth, something you can’t miss when you see it […] He came, looked at the paintings and liked them […] Together, Eric and his girlfriend Isabelle, have been defending my work for 9 years and today they have one of the biggest galleries in Paris.

I first discovered Arthur Rimbaud or he first discovered me in 97-98, for he is much alive today, just read his poetry. I was in a café in Boston where I was showing my paintings. There was a magazine that had a picture of him in it, I was shocked to see a picture of myself staring at me from another century, I ripped the picture out and put it on my pocket and felt a new found freedom of myself, I then began reading about him and his work and his energy invested me even more. I learned of his theory of disorientating the senses with huge quantities of alcohol and drugs. I was relieved to learn this for I was having great difficulties stopping the process, but now having knowledge of “my past life”, I no longer needed to continue the cycle and repeat the same mistakes. The job was done, my senses were disorientated enough, my creative energy was on fire. I was painting, drawing, writing, making music. No borders, boundaries or limits, at home on this planet, free in this world, as long as I’m under a blue sky I’m abright, this is how I feel, me and Arthur are one, we are one in fact, one with everything. Now whether I am Arthur or Troy makes no difference, they’re just names that are subjective to any language of culture, but can give us clues as to who we are, and have significant and powerful meaning put upon our lives, but that is another study.
So free in this world I share the same soul as Arthur, “we are all one” it is a collective creative soul family.

Back in Boston around the time of the discovery, I was asked to leave the building I was living in; I was not “politically correct”. So now I was homeless, but it didn’t matter, anyway I was at “home in this world”. A friend of mine was getting married in France, so I decided to go to her wedding. So I cashed in a life policy, which was fitting because an old part of me had died and a new self was born. Now I had enough money to go to Paris to see where I used to live.
As soon as I came to “Saint-Sulpice” I found a copy of “illuminations” on the cabled stone, I opened it up and someone had written “on your journey do what you have to, to survive”. I knew then I was on the right path. My money soon ran out and I needed a place to sleep. While washing my clothes I met a young Italian girl who was watching an apartment for a friend, she offered that I stay with her. It was 10 rue de Buci, Arthur had lived here too, as a guest of the poet Banville, but was asked to leave for not being “politically correct”. To stay here, I had to sneak in and out, not to be seen by the guardian. My Italian friend had strict order to not have any male guests. I was soon discovered by the guardian and was immediately told to never come back to the building. So I found another place, and continued drawing until I could find a place to paint. I soon met a young German boy named Matao, he had an extra room that I could use as an “atelier”, in exchange for a painting for rent. It was at 10 rue de Buci, great! I was back at 10 rue de Buci and the guardian couldn’t say anything about it. For the next two years or so, I was able to make hundreds of paintings, and to do my language colour studies. In this period I was to meet my Delphine, the woman I live with and have a child with, a great little boy named Victor, for Victory.

I was also aware of the fact that Arthur had lost a foot in North Africa, I had “disorientated” my senses for a number of days in Paris and fell off the metro platform at Saint-Michel. I damaged my right knee, putting three holes in it. I then went to Tunisia to rest and my foot became very infected. I was admitted into the hospital. I stayed there for three days and my foot became swollen and infected. They saved my foot, I didn’t have to lose it in this time. I confronted the dark side and passed. This is a part of my journey into reincarnation, I believe the soul is shared collectively, to one degree or another, and that it travels as a collective family. I now see myself in many forms, times, places. We are everywhere, at all times, at once, we are one.

Troy Henrisken,
(April 2006).

Troy’s paintings immediately enthral the one who is looking at them; the one Troy speaks to with a friendly genius: “the other one”. His paintings are first obvious and simple, “in collusion”. They are also rich of their sophistication: between a figuration in which the sometimes over-simplified shapes remind Outsider Art or expressionism, and an abstraction controlled by a fine-tuned distribution of the colours on the whole canvas. The colours that are counterbalanced, supported by the weight of the words, the letters, the signs that Troy writes in a decorative hand in the foreground of the painting. The backgrounds are often covered with pages of worldwide newspapers. It is as if the hustle and bustle of the world were revived by the sudden appearance of those snippets of sense, of aphorisms, of puns, that are painted in polychromy. Features, compositions, colours, signs... that tell about present and past facts, about myths and reality, about phantasms and dreams, about nature and humanity... Paintings that hint at breaking news and at life with its joys, its pains, its projects, its diversity and its dreams. Troy’s works of art are a florid anthology of shapes and colours exposed to the enigma of life going by. Troy’s works of art have found the souls for which they were designed, since that magical day of 1999 when Troy Henriksen first stepped into the Galerie W. Since he arrived to Paris, his life inspired him more than eight hundred paintings. Each one is a memory for him, for me, for those who live the gallery, for those who live with it every day. Everyone has their personal story, their force, and their destiny.

Troy Henriksen was born in the city of Moby Dick, New Bedford. He became a fisherman before he tried his luck at road-tripping. His father, a former student from the Art School, set up his own fishing company very soon. Just like his Norwegian ancestors, Troy would be a sailor, the one who would bring the trawler safe back to the harbour, overcoming the storm. In Paris, he more than once used the papers - sent by his father and that served for drawing the fishing routes - as a support for creation and as a last “transfert-surface”. The latitude and longitude of Cape Cod spring up here and there in his paintings. Shapes are timeless words, the interpretation and reading of which depend on the combination and on the chance governing the sizes of the paintings, the mood and secret order of Troy. In front of these works of art, the senses that are on the look-out are the same as when reading. One can spend hours in front of a poem-painting by Troy and have the feeling to be diving into a book. The poet-painter appears obviously. When I see Troy’s work and the non-boundary between words and features, features and drawings, it reminds me of the catalogue by Bernard Blistène, of its title, Poésure et Peintrie (“Poeting and Paintry”). It is even more relevant than before: aren’t the boundaries between those two forms of art disappearing?

Eric Landau,
The investigator of the Galerie W.


Press releases

1006 - Communiqué de Presse Exposition - CREDIT MUTUEL ARKEA 2010 (pdf)

1004 - Communiqué de Presse Premiere rétrospective en France - Festival ART ROCK 2010 (pdf)

0904 - Exposition Transparence (pdf)

W picked out for you

Troy Henriksen - Transparence
Troy Henriksen dans son atelier - Work in progress - mars 2009 -
© Clara Diebler / Galerie W


Vidéo de Troy Henriksen Festival Art Rock
Troy Henriksen Retrospective au Festival Art Rock 2010
Vidéo de Troy Henriksen Festival Art Rock
Troy Henriksen Retrospective au Festival Art Rock 2010
Vidéo de Troy Henriksen Festival Art Rock
Troy Henriksen Retrospective au Festival Art Rock 2010
Troy Henriksen And The Happy Human Condition at the Galerie W celebrate the July 7th full moon: The Memphis Moonlight Happening
Troy Henriksen et The Happy Human Condition à la Galerie W pour célébrer la première pleine lune de l’été, le septième jour du septième mois de l’année: The Memphis Moonlight Happening
Troy Henriksen And The Happy Human Condition at the Galerie W celebrate the July 7th full moon: The Memphis Moonlight Happening
Troy Henriksen And The Happy Human Condition at the Galerie W celebrate the July 7th full moon: The Memphis Moonlight Happening
Vidéo de Troy Henriksen en permanence  la Galerie W
Troy Henriksen is a permanent artist of the Galerie W
Vidéo de Troy Henriksen  Disneyland Resort Paris
The Galerie W: Troy Henriksen at Disneyland Resort Paris®
Gad Elmaleh Presents French Art Phenom Troy Henriksen
Gad Elmaleh Presents French Art Phenomenon Troy Henriksen

W artists’ media pages:

CharlElie | Cynthia Cappe | Jean-Marc Dallanegra | Winnie Denker | Jean-Claude Gautrand | Dom Garcia | Raymond Hains | Troy Henriksen | Élodie Lachaud | Denis Robert | Miss.Tic

The Galerie W website:

W artists’ profiles:

Joao Luis Bulcao | Cynthia Cappe | Jean-Marc Dallanegra | Winnie Denker | Jean-Claude Gautrand | Raymond Hains | Troy Henriksen | Élodie Lachaud | Mirko Lovric | Miss.Tic | Denis Robert