Thursday, June 26, 2008
Perhaps the most prolific artist of our time, Henry Darger’s strange genius wasn’t discovered until after his death. He was a lonely and highly reclusive man who worked for years as a janitor in Chicago. He was odd and unkempt, scavenged through the garbage for art supplies and talked to himself in strange voices. He never took an art class, never bought a manual on how to draw or paint, but when he died in 1973 — buried in a paupers’ cemetery not far away, with no family or friends to provide for his burial — his landlord discovered a massive literary and artistic body of work that he had been creating since nearly the turn of the century.