Week 6 – Intermediate Photography

Too bad I didn’t shoot these a week before, I might have used them in my project…

Still having trouble with this expired Tri-X.  I tried shooting a roll at 200 and developing in Caffenol C-L, that came out wonderful.  I shot this roll at 400 and it fogged.  I just can’t win, it seems.  Here’s one more, for Stacy:

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One of my favorite artists (though not a photographer) is Henry Darger.  His story isn’t too dissimilar to Vivian Maier’s, for those of you that know primarily photography.  He worked as a janitor at a Catholic school for basically his whole life, never talked to anyone, just kept his head down and did his job.  When he died and they opened up his room, they found a 15,000 page book he’d been writing, complete with his own painted illustrations.  If not for the fact that his landlord had been a photographer trained at the IIT Institute of Design, it all might have been thrown out.  I find it a bit ironic that Darger spent his life working on a massive story and the only thing that interests most people are the pictures, though to be fair, they are amazing pictures:

jennierichee
Henry Darger

Darger created most of his figures by cutting pictures out of magazines, sometimes tracing and multiplying them, sometimes pasting the cutouts themselves right into his paintings.  It’s an inspiring use of collage that no one had ever tried before, and today Henry Darger is known as one of the most important examples of outsider art.  I remember watching the documentary film about Darger, In the Realms of the Unreal, for an art class while at Ohio State.  Truly a fascinating portrait, though a pretty tragic one, and I wholeheartedly recommend it.  If I were to speculate on why he never showed his manuscript or paintings to anyone, I’d say that he was afraid of any kind of attention, something that I can understand to some degree, but wanting everything to be fair, it is still very sad that he died not knowing how influential his work would later become, and never reaped the benefits of his own notoriety.

henry-darger-CollageGirlBlengin
Henry Darger

Darger’s images, and his story, are frequently in my mind.  I think one of my own biggest fears is being forced into a “normal” life, and having to push my own work aside, underground, only something I do in spare time.  I don’t know how I could do that, if I would survive.  Supporting myself with music is one of my biggest goals.  I was created to be creative.

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