Friday, February 05, 2010

the vivian girls

i love a cleverly named band. and i've loved henry darger's exceptionally deranged lifelong work, *in the realms of the unreal ever since we stumbled upon a showing of his work at PS1 some time in the 90s. the epic piece documents an otherworldly battle between evil adults and an army of children led by a band of cherubic and heroic innocents known as the Vivian Girls. i've got a soft spot in my heart for outsider art, and darger's genius qualifies as an extreme case.

(*the documentary of the same name, however, drones on and on (and on and on) but on the plus side, does offer quite a bit of insight into the artist's tragically lonely life and unorthodox creative methods. for instance, upon his death, stacks and stacks of telephone books were found in his apartment. darger had re-purposed the pages to serve as inspiration journals, pasting in prototypes, images from magazines, color swatches, and fabric bits he wanted to replicate in later works atop page over page of thin newsprint. interesting crazy shit like that pepper the film, but overall it is a total snoozer. tony only hung with it for about 15 minutes before throwing in the towel. i watched it all, but i yawned about 75 times from the middle to the end.)

so when i read about the NY band vivian girls my interest was peaked. dreamy vocals, a heartfelt lo-fi sound, and cute girls worthy of their band's namesakes make vivian girls worth a listen. especially on a gray and snowy day like today, when i'd love nothing more than to wrap up in a darger-inspired quilt and knit until my hands bleed. will somebody make me one already? please? it would make me so happy and i would love you forever.

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