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Daniel Johnston

Daniel Dale Johnston (b. Sacramento, California, 1961; d. Waller, Texas, 2019) was an American singer-songwriter and a significant figure in the indie music scene of the 1990s. Johnston produced over twenty albums and as many singles within his lifetime to an ever-growing international audience. His influence as a songwriter and musician is evident in the numerous musical icons who have covered his songs, including Tom Waits, Eddie Vedder, Phoebe Bridgers, and Beck.


In addition to his successes in music, Johnston's visual art has been widely celebrated at museums and galleries around the world, including the Whitney Museum of American Art’s Whitney Biennial in 2006. Numerous books and documentaries have been made about his art, life, and music including the award-winning documentary "The Devil and Daniel Johnston" (2005).

"If Daniel Johnston’s music is gripping for how achingly direct it feels, the revelations contained in his drawings stem from his willingness to dramatize the contradictions that many of us have repressed or forcefully resolved to more easily navigate the world. The quiet certainties of a conventional life find a counterpoint in Johnston’s fiery, boundless imagination, the engine that allowed him to create so prolifically. The lack of irony or knowingness feels like generosity rather than frailty, a disarming reminder of what is most meaningful about art, music, and life." (1) 


(1) Excerpt from "What Daniel Johnston's Drawings Mean Now" by Harry Tafoya for Pitchfork

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