Monday, March 22, 2004

Innocence & Evil: the Outsider Art of Henry Darger

Here's work from another outsider artist, arguably among the world's most famous.

Matthew Michael on one site dedicated to Darger:
Henry Darger died in 1973 in a Catholic mission operated by the Little Sisters of the Poor. He was buried in a paupers' cemetery. He had no family or friends. The neighbors in his north Chicago apartment building remembered him as an odd, unkempt man who scavenged through garbage cans and talked to himself in numerous voices. He attended mass every day, often several times a day, but otherwise led a solitary life.

Unknown to his neighbors and to everyone, Darger had been creating and compiling a massive literary and graphic body of work since 1909. If Darger's landlord, photographer Nathan Lerner, had not sorted through the collection of scavenged debris in his apartment following his death, Darger's writings and paintings certainly would have been lost.
Darger's often disturbing art depicted oddly adrogynous children sometimes involved in scenes of violence. Artnet has more on Darger's biography and his posthumous exhibits as well as a gallery.

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