I came upon Henry Darger via Grayson Perry, who mentioned him in his final Reith lecture. Darger was an “outsider artist” – a janitor who lived in a one-roomed apartment in Chicago, and who wrote (amongst other things) a 15,000 page novel, rather marvelously 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. To illustrate the story he created hundreds of illustrations composed of collage, tracings, and painting.
More of images of Darger’s art can be found here.
A documentary on his life. (Quite long – 80 mins, and I found the little girl narrator’s voice a little irritating after a while, but it is worth a watch).
About the novel.
Other “outsider artists” that interest me are Agnes Richter (of the embroidered jacket) and Judith Scott (fibre objects)
Very interesting artist – of whom I’d never heard
Sue Kaplan introduced me to the work of this incredible woman who was working in the seventies doing some very interesting stuff….. and beyond.
(sorry – a little rant here – it’s quite annoying but it isn’t possible to just add links randomly in the text — or am I missing something?)
Quote from the blog post above : “In this work Messager clothed dozens of taxidermied sparrows in tiny knitted garments, then carefully laid them out in natural-history-museum-style display cabinets. Presented as if they are sleeping, cozy in their woollen wear, the little birds become an uneasy cross between scientific specimen and treasured pet.”
This is but one of many diverse and interesting works by Annette Messager.