Henry Darger, American artist and urban ascetic

In all these writings of mine on the philosophies of asceticism, hermeticism, and the path towards earthly renunciation, I have always been somehow attracted to those men and women who embody in their lives such ascetic virtues.  Henry Darger seems to be among them.  I have followed his interesting story for some years now, and he is an enigma to me as well as countless others who are intrigued by his outsider art, and by his austere lifestyle.

Darger was a devout Catholic, who attended mass daily, lived simply, and wrote prolifically.   An upublished work several thousands of pages in lenght with hundreds of drawings, titled In The Realms of the Unreal.

If you are ever in a city or town that has his artwork on display please check it out.  Also, check out as much info as you can on him.  His wikipedia article has good and reliable sources.

Also, there is a wonderful documentary that is available about him for free to watch on Youtube:


~ by alexmalina on April 8, 2009.

One Response to “Henry Darger, American artist and urban ascetic”

  1. … not to mention his creative use of cost- and time-saving artistic devices in massive pieces of art, which allowed him to create massive works on a janitor’s budget… When I saw his work in person I thought I saw, maybe for the first time in my life, art separated from ego and the need for social acceptance. Definitely worth checking his story out.

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