Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Henry Darger Response

I’m not sure where to begin. Henry Darger was a very interesting person. I am astonished that someone could spend most of their life writing a 15,000 page book and create so many paintings. Henry was a very lonely man who confined himself to his apartment. His neighbors say he was a very shy man, who was not very wealthy. He worked as a custodian for most of his life, and when his shifts were over he would come home to the world that he knew and loved. This is where he created his book: The Realms of the Unreal. This was “his own little world” as many would call it.
I have noticed throughout my art history classes that many artists are in some way “different.” Some are not sociable, others cannot make a marriage work-most were just very lonely people. These artists are just so wrapped up in their work that they cannot pry themselves away, only for a moment, to make relationships work. It was said that Henry was very smart as a child; he could read before anyone his age could. Henry was possibly so intelligent he wrapped all that thought into his artwork and books.
In his illustrations and writing, everything was a fairy tale. There were animals that did not exist and little girls who fought like an army. Many people who passed by his front door would over hear him speaking to himself in different voices and languages. I associated this to children having imaginary friends. In a way his mind was very child-like. His illustrations were very good but they were childish and his stories were definitely child-like.
Overall, I think he was a very intelligent man, but he was never able to establish relationships with other people. He was very timid but he was a very clever man and loved to step into his realm: The Realm of the Unreal.

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