Supreme pays tribute to the late visual artist and musician, Daniel Johnston in their latest capsule collection. Johnston, who was beloved and admired by the music community passed away last December, was truly a musician's musician. He gained a cult-like following by melding poignant lyrics and poetic writing style, delivered in an honest and pared-down fashion, and has musicians like Kurt Cobain, Beck, Pearl Jam and Tom Waits counting Johnston has a source of inspiration.
As brilliant as he was a musician, Johnston was also an accomplished artist, with his works being shown in galleries the likes of London’s Aquarium Gallery, New York’s Clementine Gallery and Sacramento’s Verge Gallery. But Johnston's life wasn't without hardship—he often battled schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and his works often referenced his struggles, resulting in truly unique pieces of musical and visual art.
The capsule collection with Supreme draws from these works and highlights some of his most notable creations. Take, for instance, Jeremiah the Innocent, the frog who graces the cover of his 1983 album Hi How Are You, is seen on plaids shirts, trousers, T-shirts and beanies. There are also characters from his comic book Space Ducks – An Infinite Comic Book of Musical Greatness and his illustration The Silver Sufferer emblazoned on hoodies and T-shirts. One of the highlights is definitely the camp-collar shirts, which features a collage of Johnston's most iconic artworks.
While Johnston has always had a cult following, he gained more mainstream appeal when Cobain wore a T-shirt featuring the artwork from the 1983 album Hi How Are You, on an 1985 episode of MTV's The Cutting Edge. The irony that a new generation will be discovering Johnston's work through his collaboration with Supreme is not lost on us. But regardless, we are glad Johnston's influence is getting the due it deserves.
The Daniel Johnston x Supreme SS20 Collection will be launched on 14 May, via the main Supreme site, and available on the Japanese site on 16 May.