Welcome to my World! Daniel Johnston - March 15 through June 30, 2013

Welcome to my World! Daniel Johnston
Welcome To My World ! Daniel Johnston is indeed a welcome opportunity to present the oeuvre of Daniel Johnston, a cult figure on the American alternative scene. Conceived in close collaboration with the creator himself, his inner circle, the itinerant Arts Factory (Paris) gallery the exhibition was first mounted at the Lieu Unique (national center for contemporary arts and music) in Nantes, in spring 2012.
A Do it Yourself fan, Daniel Johnston (b. 1961) recorded his first pieces in the early eighties, on cassettes. After a few months travelling across the USA selling hot dogs with a group of fairground people, he settled in Austin (Texas) and set out to sell his cassettes on the street. For several years he had also taken up drawing, mainly to express his—ever unrequited—love for a certain Laurie. To this day, Laurie remains an abiding source of inspiration to him. Subject to manic-depressive bouts, he made his way through life on his own and come what may, thanks to drawing and music. Daniel Johnston is not self-taught and therefore fails to meet the definition of Art Brut such as Jean Dubuffet established it once and for. Nonetheless, the fact that his work moves along unconventional channels of distribution, does make it fall into the category of works that the French painter Dubuffet also collected and which have since been grouped under the heading Neuve Invention. Daniel Johnston's graphic oeuvre abounds. The drawings, for the most part compulsively produced, are in felt and ball-point pens. They describe strange playlets: for instance, the staging of Johnston's childhood comic book heroes like "Captain America," "Hulk," "Casper the Ghost." These mythical figures of popular American culture wage a pitiless battle against the forces of Evil incarnated by Satan in person, or by buxom temptresses determined to distract them from the straight and narrow. Lending support to these heroes are figures of Johnston's own invention: the frog of innocence "Jeremiah" and the trepanned boxer "Joe" are two of his main alter egos. The world he depicts is all black and white: obsessively and endlessly, it abounds with allusions to Christianity, history and folk tales, all of which Johnston diverts and reclaims to his own ends. Hence, his drawings are extensions of themes intimately linked to his own daily life: they flaunt the ongoing battles he himself must carry out against his own demons. La Collection de l’Art Brut extends its heartfelt thanks to Patrick Gyger, Director of the Lieu Unique center, Dick Johnston, Hervé Di Rosa, Sandra Reignoux, the publishers Silverbridge and the Arts Factory gallery for their contributions to this exhibition.

Practical Information


March 15 - june 30 2013

Opening Reception

Thursday 14 March 2013, 6:30pm
at the Collection de l’Art Brut, Lausanne
several of the show's curators will be attending : Laurent Zorzin, Effi Mild (Arts Factory, Galerie Nomade) et Patricia Buck (Lieu Unique).

Publication, CD, DVD

-" Daniel Johnston, Rock on !", atelier de bibliophilie populaire, 2010, 15 pages. Limited edition of 350 copies.
- CD "Welcome to my World ! The music of Daniel Johnston", Yip Eye Music, 2006, 22 titles.
- DVD "The Angel & Daniel Johnston, live at the Union Chapel", Adjustable Productions, 82 minutes, 2008.

Poster, postcards

Affiche format mondial (120 x 90 cm) et affichette de l’exposition; cartes postales.


The show is non accessible to persons with reduced mobility.

Free guided tours

Saturday 23 March 2013 at 2pm
Saturday 4 May 2013 at 2pm
Online booking, within the limits of the seats available.

Workshops for children ages 8 to 12

Saturday 23 March 2013 at 2pm
Wednesday 27 april 2013 at 2 pm
Saturday 4 May 2013 at 2pm
Online booking, within the limits of the seats available.

Free guided tours upon request

for groups and classes: in French, German, English and Italian

Free guided tours for teachers of secondary school levels and higher

Thursday 21 March, 5pm (length 60 minutes).
Online booking, within the limits of the seats available.

Swiss TV broadcast on Daniel Johnston 06.04.2013



The exhibition Welcome to my World! Daniel Johnston is not accessible to people with reduced mobility.