Wednesday, November 08, 2006

What People Did Before The Internet

I've been called many things in my life; handsome, astute, charming, articulate, learned, dapper, but never have I been called Henry Darger. Darger, a prolific "outsider" artist and creator of several exhaustive graphic manuscripts, has been called many things, crazy and feeble-minded being among the most common.

In a tiny studio apartment on the north side of Chicago, just a few blocks north of my residence, he quietly created a vast collection of work that easily exceeds all other janitor/artists. His seminal work is the 15,145 page graphic-novel simply titled
The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinnian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion. If you're looking for a shorter read, might I suggest The History of My Life. At 4,672 pages, you won't even notice that after page 206 that he abandons the story of his life in favor of a tale about a tornado named "Sweetie Pie". Like so many of us, he fancied himself an amateur meteorologist, compiling a ten-year journal of the inaccuracies of the local newspaper's weather reports.

His work was only discovered shortly before his death and has found its way to several museums around the world including both Chicago's Contemporary Museum of Art and Art Institue.
Watch: In the Realms of the Unreal - The Mystery of Henry Darger.
Read: Thank Heaven For Little Girls, Art In America



Anonymous Anonymous said...

This guy was more productive than I am at my most productive. Did he sleep?

4:47 PM  

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