On Darger’s date of birth & death (April 12th & 13th) Philippe Cohen Solal, co-funder of Gotan Project, released two singles from his new project “Outsider”.
“Henry Darger was born in Chicago on April 12th 1892 and passed away on April 13th 1978.
Self-isolated he wrote 33000 pages and created around 300 incredible paintings, drawings and collages.
He never showed them to anyone, and they were discovered by his landlords Nathan & Kiyoko Lerner before Henry died.
His art and life are the main inspiration behind my new project: OUTSIDER.
OUTSIDER The debut album by Solal & Lindsay (feat. Adam Glover) Philippe Cohen Solal (Gotan Project) and Mike Lindsay (Tunng) present ‘OUTSIDER ‘, a haunting, luminous mysteriously grand album that brings us inside Henry Darger‘s mind, using his own words from his hand bound books, taking us on a journey through his heroes’ battles in the land of Abbieannia.
The inner voice of Darger is sung by Adam Glover, whose gorgeous crooning tones, reminiscent of Scott Walker and Lee Hazelwood, bring a classic timelessness alongside the chorus voice of ‘The Vivian Girls’ sung by Hannah Peel (The Magnetic North) bringing violent innocence and a sweet balance between rolling strings and anthemic horns also arranged by her. Henry Darger was a reclusive man, who lived alone in a one-room apartment at the top of a house in Chicago for over 50 years until he died in 1973. Upon his death, a lifetime’s work; hundreds of paintings illustrating a fifteen thousand-page book called, ‘The Realms of The Unreal’ were discovered.
In his book he captured the world that existed inside his head, fantastical countries where wars are fought between the child rebellion, fronted by ‘The Vivian Girls’ against the over powering adult enemy soldiers in a twisted fairytale land. Henry Darger is now internationally renown as one of the foremost exponents of Art Brut. In 2003 Philippe Cohen Solal, was on a tour of the USA with his band Gotan Project. Taking some time out he visited the Folk Art Museum in New York City. He found himself standing in wonder before a piece created by Henry Darger, when he noticed that the painting had been loaned to the museum by a Kiyoko Lerner.
Coincidentally Philippe had the next day arranged to meet up with Kiyoko, who was a friend of a friend. This coincidence is the origin of the artistic adventure that has led to the creation of this album. In 2020 Philippe and Mike intend to take their band on the road. The live show will include spectacular visuals inspired by Darger’s work, his life and his room, aiming to transport audiences into the complex mind of the man himself.