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DANIEL JOHNSTON

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DANIEL JOHNSTON IN HISTORY

Waller, Texas. December 26, 2002. The outcome of a quest for fame and wealth in Daniel Johnston's adult life continues to surprise a lot of people.  From the early 80's when the ragged figure appeared on the streets (literally) of Austin, Texas handing out home made (or home-less made) cassette tapes of his songs.  In and out of mental institutions and switching record labels constantly, he has managed to produce 28 + albums, and has a following of notable fans.  So he might have some claim to the "fame" portion of his aspirations.

Daniel Johnston is a 41 year old "still living at home with the parents" statistic who has painfully marched to the beat of that 'different drummer'. Plagued with mental illness and health issues, he has over the years cranked out around twenty albums, hundreds of pieces of art, featured in articles Rolling Stones, SPIN, and Entertainment weekly (just to name a few), appeared on national television and cable (MTV), and always receiving quiet acclaim from critics.

At David Bowie's Royal Festival Hall MELTDOWN 2002, Bowie singled out Daniel Johnston and mused admiration, "he makes music for himself, which is 'what it is all about'".

When it comes to art, Daniel's sketches are circulated widely, and are generally available from web sites like www.hihowareyou.com the oldest source of on-line Daniel Johnston art, www.museumoflove.com or even from Daniel's official site www.rejectedunknown.com. A simple colorless drawing on typing paper can easily draw $50, and the more creative and intriguing exchange for upwards of a hundred dollars.

Now, the University of Texas is sponsoring submissions of Daniel's art work to be included in college level art education text books.

Holle Humphries of U.T. solicited approval from Daniel's manager (and father) Bill Johnston to submit samples of Daniel's art for textbook use. A release was signed today, and includes the drawing shown here as a sample to stimulate thinking about contemporary art and artists.

Ms Humphries writes "What is echoed in the description I have written about this [submission] about Mr Johnston and his work is that it is unique from all the other [submissions] produced by students: this uniquely profiles an interdisciplinary work of a contemporary artist who has achieved attention in his own right for his own individual talent, beyond the commercial mainstream controlled by corporate franchises. This very much reflects Postmodern trends, which celebrate the work of outsider artists who contribute to a dynamic visual culture enjoyed and admired by all of us."

This doesn't likely mean your descendants will be memorizing his birth date.  It serves at best to fuel Daniel's faltering ego.   And unless the arrival of self-worth suddenly unravels the secret of his genius in art and song, we applaud the notoriety.

A place in history?  Maybe I'm being arrow minded...

Ms Humphries has something to say about that! "In this respect, it is believed that Mr Daniel Johnston's artwork can be considered significant within the context of the current art world, and therefore may one day be in art history."

Okay.   So make note: his birthday is January 21, 1961 :-).

Dim Jensen

 

HONORARY MEMBERS

Missing Photo

June 2012

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SAMPLE MP3s

Polka Dot Rag
The What Of Whom

The Beatles

Lost And Found

Speeding Motorcycle
Live with Smutfish in The Netherlands

Casper
Kids
 
Honey I Sure Miss You
Artistic Vice
   
Dead Dog Laughing In The Cloud
Continued Story
 
OTHER MP3s
FEATURED PHOTO

Daniel Johnston backstage in Boston 2009-10-15

Sept 4
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