Henry Joseph Darger Jr. (; c. April 12, 1892 – April 13, 1973) was a reclusive American writer and artist who worked as a hospital custodian in Chicago, Illinois. 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-Angelinian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion, along with several hundred drawings and watercolor paintings illustrating the story.The visual subject matter of his work ranges from idyllic scenes in Edwardian interiors and tranquil flowered landscapes populated by children and fantastic creatures, to scenes of horrific terror and carnage depicting young children being tortured and massacred. Much of his artwork is mixed media with collage elements. Darger's artwork has become one of the most celebrated examples of outsider art.
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Now considered one of the most notable American "outsider artists," Darger was a reclusive Chicago janitor whose work was discovered after his death by his landlord. He spent some of his early life in and out of an asylum, and by 1920, had begun work on his epic "The Story of the Vivian Girls in What Is Known as the Realms of the Unreal or the Glandelinian War Storm or the Glandico-Abbienian Wars as Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion" (also known as "Realms of the Unreal") - a 13,000 page mixed-media work with elaborate, cartoon-like watercolor illustrations. At the time of his death, he was at work on an autobiography, which had reached upwards of 2,600 pages.
Artist, Writer, Naive Artist, Illustrator, Painter
Henry Darger, Henry J. Darger
Information from Getty’s Union List of Artist Names ® (ULAN), made available under the ODC Attribution License