Renaldo Kuhler "The National Museum of Rocaterrania"
Here's another ingenious artist whose work I was introduced to at the American Visionary Art Museum: Renaldo Kuhler. Kuhler is a scientific illustrator who has spent the majority of his private life creating images of Rocaterrania, an imaginary world populated with hundreds of characters, buildings, and years of elaborately depicted history. Kuhler is often compared to Henry Darger, another famously self-taught artist who invented a lush alternative universe. However where Darger's work is a loose panoply of pastel hues and juvenile heroines, Kuhler's Rocaterrania is a bold, meticulously illustrated documentation of an adult world that is replete with religion, politics, and its own pop culture (for example, one of my favorite pieces shown at the museum is a scene that Kuhler drew from one of Rocaterrania's sci-fi films). The other difference is that where Darger toiled away in obscurity, Kuhler is being celebrated while still alive, thanks to both the AVAM, and Bright Eye Pictures' newly released documentary, Rocaterrania, which I now happily own.