contemporary vision

New mural inspired by Austin icon Daniel Johnston to be unveiled downtown

Mural inspired by Austin icon Daniel Johnston to be unveiled downtown

Daniel Johnston: I live My Broken Dreams mural Austin
Though the treasured artist left the world several years ago, his significant impact in Austin remains. Courtesy of The Contemporary Austin

KVUE — If you’ve been downtown recently, you may have noticed some new art.

The Contemporary Austin has installed a new mural at its Jones Center location at Congress Avenue and Seventh Street in conjunction with the exhibition “Daniel Johnston: I Live My Broken Dreams.” The exhibition is a posthumous retrospective of Johnston’s work that launched in September and runs until March 20.

The new mural features images and details taken directly from the late Austin artist’s work, including characters like the Beast, Jeremiah the Innocent, Vile Corrupt, and Casper. The Contemporary said the mural was made possible by funds from Vans and No-Comply Skate Shop.

The Contemporary will officially unveil the new mural on Johnston’s birthday, January 22, which is celebrated as Hi, How Are You Day in Austin. The museum said the public is invited to gather at the corner of Congress Avenue and Seventh Street in a safe and socially distanced manner, or they may watch a live stream of the ribbon-cutting ceremony on the museum’s Instagram at 12:30 pm on January 22.

The public is also encouraged to post photos of the mural and tag The Contemporary on Instagram through the end of January for a chance to win a Daniel Johnston gift package that includes exclusive merchandise created in conjunction with The Contemporary’s exhibit. 

Johnston was a singer-songwriter and a significant figure in the indie music scene of the 1990s. He was also an accomplished artist who exhibited his comic-inspired drawings throughout his life.

His Hi, How Are You? mural, painted on Guadalupe Street in Austin in 1993, remains very popular. However, The Contemporary notes that much of Johnston’s visual art is still little known to most audiences.

Johnston died in 2019 at age 58. The Austin-based Hi, How Are You Project, founded with the support of the Johnston family in 2018, works to raise awareness about mental health in Johnston’s honor.

To book tickets for “Daniel Johnston: I Live My Broken Dreams,” click here.

While Hi, How Are You Day is celebrated annually in Austin on January 22, this year’s Hi, How Are You Day concert has been rescheduled to May 4.

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