The son of Jewish émigrés, Lenkiewicz was born in London in 1941. He grew up in his parents hotel, surrounded by a varied and intellectually challenging assortment of guests; throughout his life his two passions were painting and philosophy. He studied at St Martin’s College of Art and Design and then the Royal Academy. Following a spell working in inner city London schools and a year in Cornwall, he moved to Plymouth where he settled. His work consisted of a series of twenty themed projects, the paintings being accompanied by pages of notes by both the artist and his sitters. His aim with all these projects was to present information on ‘issues that were common to pretty well all people’.