Daniel Johnston

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Hulk Feel Lonely Inside, 2009
numbered poster (limited edition 500 ex.), 60 x 40 cm
photo : Atelier de numérisation – Ville de Lausanne 
© Daniel Johnston, courtesy Arts Factory [galerie nomade]

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I Love you Danny, 2010
felt-pen on paper, 21,5 x 28 cm
photo : Atelier de numérisation – Ville de Lausanne
© Daniel Johnston, courtesy  Arts Factory [galerie nomade]

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all images courtesy DANIEL JOHNSTON

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The first ever presentation in Switzerland of DANIEL JOHNSTON’s graphic work provides a broad insight into an artistic life that is shaped by bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

DANIEL JOHNSTON, born in 1961 in Sacramento (California), has been writing and recording music for more than twenty-five years, generating an ever-growing international cult audience. His legend began in the 1980s, when he arrived in Austin, Texas, with a travelling fair and stuck around, hoping to make it as a cartoonist before deciding to become a musician.

However he never ceases to draw and his artwork appears in galleries throughout the world and was featured in the 2006 Whitney Biennial.

The drawings, for the most part compulsively produced, are in felt and ball-point pens. They describe strange playlets: for instance, the staging of JOHNSTON’s childhood comic book heroes like “Captain America,” “Hulk,” “Casper the Ghost.” These mythical figures of popular American culture wage a pitiless battle against the forces of Evil incarnated by Satan in person, or by buxom temptresses determined to distract them from the straight and narrow. Lending support to these heroes are figures of JOHNSTON‘s own invention: the frog of innocence “Jeremiah” and the trepanned boxer “Joe” are two of his main alter egos. The world he depicts is all black and white: obsessively and endlessly, it abounds with allusions to Christianity, history and folk tales, all of which JOHNSTON diverts and reclaims to his own ends. Hence, his drawings are extensions of themes intimately linked to his own daily life: they flaunt the ongoing battles he himself must carry out against his own demons.

➝ The exhibition Welcome To My World ! Daniel Johnston is currently on view at Collection de l’Art Brut in Lausanne, on view until June 30, 2013 (this exhibition was first mounted at the Lieu Unique (national center for contemporary arts and music) in Nantes, in spring 2012).

➝➝ I highly recommend to watch The Devil and Daniel Johnston (2005) by JEFF FEUERZEIG, a documentary about JOHNSTON‘s life and art.

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Un commentaire pour “Daniel Johnston”

  1. Merci de me donner la cote de ” Hulk Feel Lonely Inside ” de Dan JOHNSTON de 1989, edition limitée, j’ai l’exemplaire 123/500.



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