Friday, June 8, 2012

Henry Darger & David C. Nolan

Henry Darger's apartment (image via)

More Henry Darger's apartment (via)

This is where Darger created the 15,145 single spaced work The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinnian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion.  On my list of things to do in Chicago last month was visit Intuit which has a replica of Darger's apartment (image below from their website).

It's a little deceptive because it gives the impression that the space is more vast than it actually is (and far more clean than it once was). Unfortunately, this is as close as one can get inside the reproduction which is surprisingly accurate to the black-and-white photograph above.

I was able to hover over a typewriter which is just to the left of the mirrored dresser and snap a crappy i-Phone photo. One of my favorite details was the boxes full of rubber bands from what I presume to be from newspapers. Every time I see something like this, my first thought is "product of the Great Depression."

As I type this I realized that Henry Darger lived at 851 Webster Street (Chicago) and David C. Nolan's hidden stash of Marilyn Monroe photographs resided at 104 Webster Street (San Francisco). The street name isn't the only similarity. Both Darger and Nolan were obsessed with females and amassed gargantuan collections of them over the decades. One could also call their activities perverse and were meant to be private yet both are now in the public domain. I wanted to see Intuit's version of Darger's space to get an idea what Nolan's basement could look like. As one of my dear friends and mentors told me two weekends ago, I am "interested in the weirdos." The last couple month's blog posts certainly indicate that.

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