I’ve been looking for this documentary about the work of Henry Darger for some time. I saw it in the theater when it was first released and it changed the way I looked at creative process and audience.
Henry Joseph Darger Jr. (/ˈdɑːrɡər/; April 12, 1892 – April 13, 1973) was an American writer, novelist and artist who worked as a hospital custodian in Chicago, Illinois. He has become famous for his posthumously discovered 15,145-page fantasy novel 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 illustrations for 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.