After escaping to the South Bronx as a young boy, Henry soon took a serious interest in photography. After graduating from the well-regarded School of Industrial Arts, he married Judith Lebow and got a job taking photographs for catalogues. But with the advent of the Korean War, it became necessary to put down the camera and pick up a rifle.
Returning from war, he and Judy left the city for comparatively sedate Syracuse, New York. Henry became a partner in a photography studio that did industrial and advertising photography for locally based corporations. It was during this time that Henry's personal ambition, aesthetic convictions and creative restlessness crystallized into the force that would take him far beyond what Syracuse could offer.
He worked nights creating a portfolio of photographs that-perhaps for the first time-expressed his distinctive vision: strong, clear and often askance.
Henry's work is recognized for its strong graphic approach and clarity of concept. But his personal photographs also often include a playful twist or disturbing tension: The quintessential American farm breakfast, subtly distorted for an almost nauseating effect. A still life of pears, tumbling out of frame, grossly fleshy and coldly metallic all at once.
Henry's bold, minimalist and sometimes subversive work appealed to those leading advertising's creative revolution in the 1960s. And back in New York, Henry was soon collaborating with Madison Avenue's lumenaries to create many of the ads that represent the essence of this creative revolution.
Henry's transition to directing television commercials was a natural one. The print medium was succumbing to television and more and more of his clients urged him to take up the film camera. His commitment to clear, simple statements remained intact, even as the projects he was offered became increasingly complex. He quickly developed a reputation as a problem-solver and much of his best-known work is visually, beautifully simple, and yet technically, extraordinarily complex.
Today, Henry has returned to the more introspective art of still life photography.