There’ll be no more pushing Joe around, no more pushing Joe around.
There are artists, there are esoteric artists, and then there are outsider artists. The term “outsider art” was coined by Roger Cardinal as a synonym for “art brut” or raw art. That label was created by French artist Jean Dubuffet to describe art that was created free of the boundaries of of official culture, especially art created by people outside of the established scene.
That was Daniel Johnston. An Austin, Texas native suffering from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, Johnston recorded albums on cassette tapes in his living room, hand drew the cover art, and distributed them to people locally. He eventually caught the attention of the local art scene, and became an indie sensation in the 90’s when alternative artists such as Kurt Cobain talked him up.
In this episode, we take a listen to his 1983 release “Hi, How Are You (The Unfinished Album). Daniel’s story is a sad one, and it’s worth checking out the 2005 documentary The Devil and Daniel Johnston.