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Daniel Johnston 60th Birthday Memorial Exhibition




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Tuesday, 12 January 2021 to Saturday, 30 January 2021

A posthumous 60th Birthday celebration for Whitney Biennial Exhibited Artist, Daniel Johnston, will open the 2021 exhibition program at Gallery 30 South.

Gallery 30 South, Pasadena, CA.
January 12 – 30, 2020.
M-F 12-6PM or by appointment

Texas-based Daniel Johnston (January 22, 1961 – c. September 11, 2019) was a manic-depressive genius singer/songwriter/artist, active in the music scene since the late 70’s. He was a self-taught, pop rocker and illustrator whose art and music was greatly focused on his obsession with unrequited love and the pop culture that he first encountered as an adolescent. Johnston’s songs have been covered by several hundred artists, including David Bowie and Tom Waits. The late Kurt Cobain mused that Daniel Johnston is the best song writer in America. In 2006, his life was documented in the award-winning film “The Devil and Daniel Johnston,” and his painted illustrations were exhibited in the Whitney biennial.

His artwork was also shown in London’s Aquarium Gallery, New York’s Clementine Gallery, and at the Liverpool Biennial twice–in 2006 and 2008. In 2009 his work was exhibited at The Museum of Love at Verge Gallery in Sacramento, California.

Daniel had a lifetime battle with mental illness, and medication prescribed for this condition damaged his liver requiring multiple hospitalizations. He passed from a heart attack in his sleep before the morning of September 11, 2019 leaving behind a legacy as perhaps the greatest outsider musician-artist of the twenty-first century. Daniel was included in the memorial reel at this year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction ceremony, alongside inductees Little Richard, Spencer Davis, Eddie Van Halen, Ginger Baker, Neil Peart, and Ric Ocasek, among others.

The collection of Johnston’s drawings that comprises this exhibition is extraordinary, showcasing many elements of the artist’s obsessions but based primarily around his love of comic books. These pieces pre-date and inspired the work in Daniel’s first comic book, Space Ducks – An Infinite Comic Book of Musical Greatness, published by BOOM! Studios. Within are several tributes to the late Jack Kirby (the architect of the multi-billion dollar Marvel Entertainment empire), who Johnston cited as a tremendous influence. Daniel had attended college to study illustration with the intention of becoming a professional comic book artist long before embarking on the musical career that brought him such acclaim.

The show can be accessed online here:

For media enquiries please contact:
Matt Kennedy ( or (323)547-3227

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Gallery 30 South was launched in February 2017 by La Luz de Jesus Gallery director Matt Kennedy and his wife Ai Honda Kennedy in Pasadena’s Green Street Village Landmark District. Since then, they have been joined by a group of international artists and prominent guest curators from the Norton Simon, LACMA and Bergamot Station. Gallery 30 South represents a broad selection of contemporary artists from emerging to established, international figures and showcasing metallurgy, painting, performance, sculpture, installation and new media.

The gallery’s exhibition program has featured solo presentations by young Los Angeles-based performer and painter Lindsey Way, Jose Rodolfo Loaiza Ontiveros’ controversial remixed Disney paintings, political protest art by Indecline and Panik Collective, the first Los Angeles gallery showing of Japanese neo-modernist Shigeru Idei, and Danish motion philosopher Torben Ulrich. The gallery also showcased groundbreaking installations by Dosshaus and Ken Salter, experiential workshops by Kembra Pfahler, and made international headlines when it presented Frances Bean Cobain’s first adult art exhibition which sold out in a single day, and earlier this year the gallery hosted the first exhibition of paintings by Hip-Hop legend Chuck D. of Public Enemy and Prophets of Rage.

Venue ( Address ): 

Gallery 30 South
30 S. Wilson Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91106

Gallery 30 South , Pasadena

Other events from Gallery 30 South

Ken Salter: The Garden of Strange Loops feat. the music of Mazzy Star from the album So Tonight that I Might See
12/01/2018 to 01/27/2019
Torben Ulrich: marks of play, re- marks on being
11/01/2017 to 11/30/2017
Amy Winehouse: Before Frank Book Release with photographer (Charles Moriarty)



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