Decade of Darkness
Absinthe, opium and accessible art do not mix.
Daniel Quigley (1894 – )
An artist, based in Greenwich Village. He was in Paris 1919 and mixed with the Surrealist movement, including Paul Eluard, Tristan Tzara and Andre Breton. They found his style disturbing and distanced themselves from him. He also met Gertrude Stein but found her “tiresomely ordinary in an extraordinary way”. He passed through London on his way home and met Arthur Rackham as well as Charles Henry Allan Bennett, an English mystic and his associate George Cecil Jones. He is also believed to have spent time with Austin Osman Spare, with whom he found he had a great deal in common, although he rejected Spare’s views on magic and the occult.
Since he has been home, he has been working steadily on a new collection but had a nervous collapse just before Christmas and his doctor has told him to take a couple of weeks’ complete rest.
Quigley identifies with decadent and disturbing artists such as Franz Xavier Messerschmidt, Baudelaire, Verlaine, Beardsley. Had Gottfried Helnwein been around in the 1920s, he would probably be doing work similar in approach to Quigley.
He mocks bourgeois pretensions, subverting the imagery of smug middle-class contentment. He feels that he is exposing the real feelings and secrets hidden beneath the veneer of respectability that the bourgeois erect, holding up a mirror to the face of respectable America and laughing at the horror in its reaction.
During his stay at the Majestic, he came under the influence of something he referred to as The Nightmare. It caused his paintings to become even more grotesque and he was last seen naked to the waist, his skin covered in eerie sigils. He was not found during the evacuation of the Majestic.