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Daniel Johnston's art: from the Whitney to Cochituate

Dirty Pilot, an art gallery based in Cochituate, is hosting an exhibit of Captain America drawings by the indie cult-favorite singer-songwriter Daniel Johnston. The artwork's entirely online - the gallery used to have a physical space, but now has retired to the Interwebs, according to their website. From the inbox:

"Over the course of Daniel Johnston's career as well documented through this survey of drawings from the mid 1970's thru 2005, Daniel has continuously wrestled artistically with his signature character Captain America. This super hero has not only been equated by Daniel with a symbol of Divine Glory and the American Dream, but also with the worship of his father Bill a decorated war veteran.

This overview explores a range of work from Daniel's early College notebook drawings through his later finished color and B&W drawings.

Recent accomplishments include the award-winning documentary “The Devil and Daniel Johnston”, a property of Sony Pictures Classics, opened to rave reviews on March 31st 2006, in both NY and LA, and the long-awaited DVD release of the film was released on September 19th, ‘06. Running concurrently with the opening of the film was a major show of Daniel’s artwork at a prominent NY gallery and a collection of Daniel’s work at the Whitney Museum’s Biennial exhibit!"

We'll admit it - we loved The Devil and Daniel Johnston. It was a fascinating documentary of a musician whose influence is evident in today's indie rock, yet he's still not particularly well-known (outside of '80's and '90's indie rock fans, and the aforementioned cult followers). We feel it should be required viewing for any music fan today, along with Stop Making Sense and Runnin' Down a Dream. Kurt Cobain liked Johnston's music enough to rock a "Hi How Are You" t-shirt at televised Nirvana gigs:


And Johnston's artwork was a common thread in the movie (a reflection of the role it's played in his life), lending an air of levity to a story that's somewhat heartbreaking, though Johnston's still around, still playing the occasional gig. Below, a sampling of works in Johnston's Dirty Pilot show. Purchase if you've got the funds - looks like pieces are selling for about $75 - $1,800, and a few have already been sold. 

See more here

--Caitlin E. Curran 

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