Saturday afternoon consisted of sitting in pajamas by the heater and watching the Henry Darger documentary In the Realms of the Unreal. For those who don’t know, Henry Darger was a man who lived a solitary life in Chicago working as a janitor and leading a secret life as an artist. Most of his childhood was spent living in a boys home, as his mother had passed after having given birth to Henry’s sister who was given up for adoption and his father was not well enough to provide for him. He was a recluse and lived in his own world which he documented in his drawings and paintings, mostly comprised of little girls, war, and religion. His art wasn’t discovered until shortly before his death in 1973.I first learned about Henry Darger in an issue of ANP Quarterly and I was completely blown away by his work. It’s like being engrossed in a weird historical fantasy. Countless artists have been inspired by his work and he continues to be referenced by many. The documentary is an interesting look into his life, from his often criticized mental state of being to his daily routine. His former landlord, Kiyoko Lerner, said it best: “Henry lived a lonely life on the outside, but a very rich life on the inside.”I highly recommend you watch the documentary.The following works are by Henry Darger.