A double-sided illustration by Chicagoan janitor Henry Darger led a sale of outsider and vernacular art at Christie’s on January 19.
Bidding closed at $672,500, well above the $400,000 estimate.
It’s one of several hundred drawings Darger produced to accompany the seven volume, 15,145 page science-fiction text he’d spent most of his adult life working on.
Henry Darger used to trace his characters from magazines
The book is titled The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What Is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion.
It tells the story of an insurrection of child slaves on a planet run by adult males. By turns wildly psychedelic and distressingly violent, the work is celebrated for its deeply strange beauty.
Darger never lived to see the reaction to his work.
It was found shortly after his death by his landlord, the photographer Nathan Lerner, who worked tirelessly to ensure it would be preserved.
There was also a pair of works by the Nashville based sculptor William Edmondson, who took up stone carving after hearing a message from God.
One of the pieces, titled Lady and produced during the 1930s, once belonged to Vogue editor-in-chief Diana Vreeland. It sold for $137,500 against an $80,000 valuation.
Interested in art and photography? Look at our intriguing collection for sale here.
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