Friday, May 18, 2007

Henry Darger


I watched the most amazing DVD the other night on Henry Darger. He's an Outsider Artist who spent his childhood in a mental asylum and his adult life working as a reclusive janitor. When he died his landlord discovered an apartment full of artwork, including 10ft long paintings and a 15000 page illustrated book called 'In the Realms of the Unreal' (also the name of the film). He did the most amazingly detailed, colourful work, my favourite being his mythical creatures. I got the above image from one of my favourite art blogs neverhappened.org, and the bottom image is from www.gseart.com.

2 comments:

robot archie said...

Interesting examples of his work, given his obsession these might be the unusual and exceptional pieces. Do you know the work of Paul Laffoley, Philip Travers or Joe Coleman?

Dargers more like Hans Bellmer than those others who sort of fit into the new age mentality but they all hang well together. If you and John come for Dinner some time I'll pull out some books (don't have any on Darger but plenty on Bellmer).

Darger books are always well over priced, like Bellocq, he suddenly and abruptly appears in the conciousness of the american art public for a short period of intense discovery and is retained to offer authenticity to the latest american artist who ends up in court on charges of questionable taste.

Course it helps that like Bellocq he's a weird, mysterious and interesting man (who creates weird mysterious and interesting, if not somewhat questionable work).

Ciao

L (Squeaky Oscar)

Annalisa Backlund said...

Wow -thanks for that info - I know Hans Bellmer (I love work from that era), but I'll be sure to look all the others up!
Cheers ALB