new-york

Daniel Johnston

Clementine

Daniel Johnston first emerged in the mid-1980s with a series of self-distributed lo-fi audiocassettes filled with songs that sounded like a cross between vintage blues, music made for children, and Bob Dylan as interpreted by Edith Bunker. He quickly became a celebrated figure in the indie-music world; Kurt Cobain once called him “the greatest living songwriter,” and performers from Tom Waits to Wilco to Beck have covered his songs. Johnston was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in the mid-’80s, an illness traced in the recent documentary The Devil and Daniel Johnston, which compares him to similarly troubled musicians Brian Wilson and Roky Erickson.

Also outlined in the movie is Johnston’s gradual emergence as a visual artist, a process that culminated in his inclusion in the 2006 Whitney Biennial. The sixty-eight mostly untitled marker and ballpoint-pen drawings from the ’70s to the present

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