Daniel Johnston only ever dreamt of two things: to be a rock star and a famous artist. Amazing enough, he succeeded at both. Today, Johnston is a prolific visual artist and a legend among indie circles where his charmingly odd songs have inspired a generation of song writers. Rizzoli is pleased to announce this most comprehensive book on Johnston's artwork to date.
Johnston has recorded over ten full-length albums, and his supporters have included Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain, who was often seen wearing a Daniel Johnston t-shirt, Matt Groening, The Butthole Surfers, Sonic Youth, noted Minutemen/FIREHOSE bassist Mike Watt, David Bowie, Tom Waits, Beck, The Flaming Lips, and an ever-growing international cult audience. His artwork was recently featured in the 2006 Whitney Biennial, the same year of the feature-length documentary, The Devil and Daniel Johnston.
Johnston?s pen and colored marker drawings contain a range of characters, some benign or heroic, and others quite disturbing. In his complex world, good battles evil attended to by an assortment of visually playful characters. Johnston?s interior life is also informed by his conservative Christian upbringing, and filled with depictions of biblical vengeance and salvation. Looking at his work, the viewers are reminded of Heironymous Bosch as much as DC Comics.
Daniel Johnston contains over 150 full color illustrations, mostly taken from the artist?s personal archives, including many that have never been published. There is also commentary and analysis by the Walker Art Center's Philippe Vergne, alt-rock luminary Jad Fair, and comic legend, Harvey Pekar.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Philippe Vergne, newly appointed director of the DIA Art Foundation, was formerly chief curator and associate director of the Walker Art Center and co-curated the 2006 Whitney Biennial, in which Johnston's work was also included. Jad Fair is an alt-rock elder statesman who led the influential band, Half-Japanese. Harvey Pekar is the author of the influential underground comic book series, American Splendor.