Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Back from Vacation!

I feel overwhelmed with how much there is to relay after being away for only a week or so. So, I just need to remember something Anne Lamott once said. It was advice from a writing teacher, "Don't make the mistake of thinking that everything that happens to you is interesting."

One of the COOLEST things I did while I was gone was go with Alice to the Intuit Gallery and look at Henry Darger's drawings. They were so much bigger then I had imagined, as you can see from the photo. The world he created was so amazing, I don't have my book with me and I am afraid I'll get something wrong, but basically Henry Darger was an orphan who was split up from his sister when he was young. I am not sure about his parents, but I get the sense that he had a tragic childhood. As an adult he lived in a small apartment in Chicago and was anti-social. The few conversations he did have with people were about the weather---he had a fascination with it.

The Gallery recreated his main room of his apartment as it was when he was living there. He had piles and piles of drawings and writings of this world that he created stacked everywhere, like a maze. The world he created involved this group of girls called the Vivian Sisters which he traced from vintage coloring books. They were always in battle with adults who would capture other Vivian Sisters. Sometimes the girls were naked and had male genitalia, but I am not sure why. The weather was usually handwritten in like, "dark storm approaching".

I could have looked at his recreated apartment all day long. On the desk where he worked were all these watercolors that he renamed according to their use, for example the blue-gray was called "storm cloud".   It reminds me of the crayon color "macaroni and cheese".

Also, in the Intuit gallery was a little library with great books of Chicago artists and outsider artists.  Roger Brown is an old favorite. 


Kuky said...

That sounds very cool. Have you watched the documentary on Henry Darger, In the Realms of the Unreal?

Nichol Brinkman said...

No! i have never even heard of it, but I will look into it----exciting.

futuregirl said...

Darger is amazing. I saw many of his paintings years ago in San Francisco. You're right, they are much bigger than you'd imagine.