Murals are an important part of our city's landscape and, arguably, the most iconic is Daniel Johnston's "Hi How Are You?" located on the Drag. The famous frog has become synonymous with Austin and adorns everything from bumper stickers to T-shirts.
On Monday, December 1, Austin added another piece of Johnston's street art to our impressive collection. A "holiday gift" to the City of Austin, the mural was commissioned by powerhouse local advertising agency GSD&M and is Johnston's first in more than 20 years.
Johnston, an Austin-based musician and artist, has a cult-like following and his work has been featured in galleries across the world. In addition to his art, Johnston released albums with such artists as Beck and The Flaming Lips, wrote a rock opera and was the subject of a 2005 documentary The Devil and Daniel Johnston.
For the mural, which is located in Clarksville, Johnston revisited a favorite subject: the superhero. Next to a cape-wearing character, the mural says, "Love is the question, love is the answer." More than just a piece of public art, the mural is an opportunity to give back too. Now through December 31, proceeds from mural T-shirts will be donated to Superhero Kids, a local organization that provides resources to children battling blood disorders and cancer at the Dell Children’s Blood and Cancer Center.
"Daniel has always had a heart for Austin and for helping others — especially kids," said Johnston's longtime manager Tom Gimbel. "When he and his family heard about this opportunity to dedicate a new mural to Superhero Kids, they were all in." The new mural is located on the side of Nau's Enfield Drug on West Lynn Street where it will remain indefinitely. Folks interested in purchasing the T-shirts can do so online at GSD&M or at Nau's.