Monday, 30 May 2011

The Story of the Vivian Girls --- Henry Darger.

Darger lived for 43 years in a second-floor room on Chicago's North Side.

I saw Henry Darger every day for about twenty years. A shuffling old man, a recluse who never had visitors except for a rare visit from a priest

He lived in a single, large room that he had rented since 1930. The room was filled from floor to ceiling with debris of his scavenging. He would take long walks in order to gather his amazing collections, and at great distances from home he could be seen poking through garbage with his cane, looking for his treasures. Crucifixes, broken toys, old magazines, scores of used eyeglasses repaired with tape, dozens of empty bottles of Pepto Bismol, hundreds of balls of twine that he made by taping small pieces together; the list was endless...

"It is a humbling experience now to have to admit that not until I looked under all the debris in his room did I become aware of the incredible world that Henry had created from within himself...."

Henry Darger. A wrecked and broken-hearted man, who wrote a huge narrative saga for nobody but himself to read; and then illustrated it with 300 scroll-like, narrative watercolours for nobody but himself to see.

After Darger's death in 1973, his landlord of 40 years, a photographer and artist named Nathan Lerner, discovered the paintings and manuscripts while clearing out his room.
Reclusive janitor by day, visionary artist by night, outsider artist Henry Darger moved through life virtually unnoticed. But after his death, a treasure trove was discovered in his one-room Chicago apartment: a staggering 15,000-page novel and hundreds of illustrations that continue to inspire artists around the world.
What Nathan Lerner found were 15 volumes of a vast narrative work that Henry Darger began writing back in late adolescence

He has become famous for his posthumously discovered 15,145-page, single-spaced fantasy manuscript called 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, along with several hundred drawings and watercolor paintings illustrating the story. Darger's work has become one of the most celebrated examples of outsider art.

Salon article: HERE

Also: Henry Darger

His art can be seen here at the  CARL HAMMER GALLERY

30 comments:

  1. yeah, I went to the american folk art museum in NYC and saw all his stuff, It's really amazing!

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  2. That was a great story cheers. Ive never seen any of Henry Dargers stuff but I will in the future. It looks awesome.

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  3. A great story behind the art

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  4. It's odd how a lot of the best artists are total weirdos.

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  5. That's amazing, no one would commit that much of themselves to art these days without wanting to get any recognition for it.

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  6. This is amazing. has anyone read the 15,000 tomb yet?

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  7. I like this kind of stories my friend.

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  8. kinda sad... but hey nice writing out there

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  9. Sounds like a confused man

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  10. i like the wording. nice skill.

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  11. Wow, going to check your links. This man seems interesting.

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  12. Impressive.

    At a scary level of compulsive.

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  13. Interesting post. Keep em coming.

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  14. I wonder how much room 15,000 pages take up?

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  15. I wish to have a look at the stuff?

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  16. Interesting what you find at the homes of recluses. If only he had the internet, he would have been famous alive.

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  17. I love reading stories like this. I think everyone has their own unique spin on life and deserves their 15mins

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  18. thank you for writing this, a really good story.

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  19. What I wonder is would he want his work to be shared? Hmm, well can't go back now!

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  20. More than 15,000 Pages MY GOD this man was touched by the Angel of creativity and inspiration.

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  21. just like emily dickenson, only celebrated after death... kind of sad really..

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  22. How on earth do you write a 15,000 page novel and not tell anyone?! Wow

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