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My friend has really been talking up this show at P.S. 1 featuring the illustrated manuscript of Henry Darger. There's quite a few references to Darger on the web. This one is quite informative. He died in 1972 at the age of 80 (or so.) But it wasn't until some time later that his "secret" manuscript was found by his landlord.

"His landlord was cleaning out his room after his death and came across a startling discovery: alone in his room, Darger had created a beautiful and violent fantasy world, primarily embodied in a 15,000 page epic narrative, '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.' Illustrated by several hundred large watercolors paintings as well as smaller drawings and collages, the Vivian Girls are seven preadolescent sisters, princesses, sometimes depicted as hermaphrodites, who fight against and ultimately prevail over evil deeds prepetrated by sadistic adults. They are aided in their battles by various Christian armies and also by Blengins, dragon-like animals, both fearsome and gentle, that are absolute protectors of children. The illustrations range from calm and pastoral to brutally violent."
Looks interesting. I love the idea that someone would create a 15,000 page illustrated manuscript and then never show anyone. That's some dedication to your craft. Any of you art folks ever hear of this guy? Do you think it might be worth the trip?
- jim 2-26-2001 6:08 pm [link] [8 comments]