Henry Valentine Lukas' Art and Life

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Hank (Henry Valentine Lukas) was born in Detroit to Polish immigrant parents.  At age 9, in the hospital, after waking from pneumonia fever which had killed a younger sister two years before, his Uncle Eddy said to him, “
Henek, there must be a reason you are alive?”

At age 18, while shipping off to fight in World War II, he picked up a dime-store painting kit.  He painted a haunting picture of a woman with no pupils, presaging an unique view into the soul.  He has spent his time since immersed in the creative process as a means to answer the question posed by the gift of his life.  

He attended the University of Michigan on the GI Bill majoring in creative writing.  He moved West in 1952 and began a career as a “Mad Man” working at advertising agencies such as BBDO, Foote Cone & Belding and GrayHe won numerous awards for his copy and as creative Director of Parker Advertising he helped introduce Datsun (Nissan) automobiles to the U.S. with the catch phrase…”Drive a Datsun, then decide.”

During his career in the “business,” Hank pursued any number of more traditional creative expressions.  He has worked in nearly every medium possible:  painting, photography, and sculptures of metal, wood, found objects and the like. 

Analytical Psychology served as a central tool in his creative process as he chronicled his dreams, was a dedicated practitioner of active imagination as well as engaging in years of Jungian Analysis. During these times, his art appeared in a number of LA Galleries. He taught the creative process at local colleges and extensively at events sponsored by the LA C.G. Jung Institute and Club.

During the second half of his life, Hank shifted careers, becoming a psychotherapist, which allowed him even more time to create. He continued to experiment with different mediums and approaches.  His body of work consists of more then 800 creations and at least 40 distinct series.

The second half of life also has brought time for reflection.  After considerable archival research, he wrote an autobiography of his early life in the "Polish Ghetto of Detroit" during the Depression (Short Pants). He also wrote, Oh to be what I was meant to be, a historical review and reflection of the first 40 years of his creative life.  He has recently completed his first novel The two-hundred-year-old man.