May 6 - 27, 2023
From Redbud Arts Center:
“Redbud Arts Center is proud to present “Don’t be Scared”, an exhibition of works that span over 40 years of Daniel Johnston’s work, some of which are in collaboration with his sister Marjory Johnston. May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Those who knew Daniel know that he suffered from mental illness, a debilitating disease. Despite his battle, Daniel’s message was and remains one of Love, Hope, and Peace. The selections in this exhibit feature his comic-inspired drawings starting in his high school years to just months before his death in September of 2019. The works include his iconic Frog, Joe Boxer, Weirdy, Captain America and others and have never been seen before.
On view through May 27, 2023
FREE and open to the public.
I, Marjory Johnston, am writing this statement for my brother, Daniel Johnston. Daniel died on Sept. 11, 2019, after years of declining physical and mental health.
Daniel began drawing at a very young age…pre-school in fact. He was an avid comic book fan and dreamed that he could become a comic book artist himself. By studying the comic book art of Jack Kirby, his idol, he taught himself to draw. By third grade he was creating comic books about his cat, “Sassy Fress”, and showing them to his friends at school. With his super creative mind, he also began writing songs and directing home movies. He took art electives in school and studied art briefly at Kent State University (East Liverpool Branch) and Abilene Christian University.
Mental illness entered his life, to some degree, in junior high but became more pronounced in his early 20’s. As the mental illness became more terrifying and disturbing, Dan turned to his love of drawing as a type of self-therapy. He created his own world of superheroes and bizarre characters where he could control and even defeat his demons. Good triumphed over evil while love and hope were his constant themes. He employed his drawing therapy almost daily.
Dan used a black flan to start his drawings, adding color with TOMBOW brush-tip markers. Markers were his preferred medium because of the bright colors and instant dryness. He was able to skip the brush cleaning and color mixing with his ever ready markers.
Because of his therapeutic themes of love and hope, Dan’s fans find help and reassurance in their own troubled times. The fact that he shared openly about his struggles with mental illness in his art and his songs made others realize they were not alone and gave them new views of living with mental illness.
Reception: May 6, 2023 | 6–9 pm
303 East 11th Street
Houston, 77008 TX
(713) 862-2532Get directions