“… despite building’s demolition” | KUT Radio photo caption: “The free-standing wall featuring Daniel Johnston’s mural of Jeremiah the Innocent, a shrine of “Old Austin,” will be integrated into new development on the Drag.”
AUSTIN, TX – Saw the memes spreading across social media. Had to check for myself… sadly, its true. Art Imitates Life, Life Imitates Art…
The building housed a record store called Sound Exchange when artist and musician Daniel Johnston painted the mural in 1993. The piece features an antenna-eyed frog known as Jeremiah the Innocent under the words “Hi, How Are You” and pays homage to Johnston’s album of a decade earlier. Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain was photographed wearing a T-shirt with the image in the early ’90s, giving the piece a significance beyond the artwork itself.
“The mural is not just a visual landmark, but also a question on the mental health of everyone,” said Kenzo Revilla, founder and president of the Austin-based Street Art Muralist Organization.
“‘Hi, How Are You?’ implores us to ask how people really are, how they’re doing,” he said.
Throughout his career, Johnston’s art was “informed to some degree by his ongoing struggle with manic depression,” according to his website.
The director of operations and events for the Hi, How Are You Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to removing “the stigma around mental health, one conversation at a time,” said the mural is an irreplaceable part of the city’s fabric.
“It’s preserving Daniel’s legacy, which is hugely important. And it’s also, for older Austinites, a bigger legacy of where Sound Exchange was,” David Lobel said. “The Drag has changed dramatically, but if there’s one piece that’s still there, it’s Jeremiah.”
Source: ‘Hi, How Are You’ mural lives on despite building’s demolition | KUT Radio, Austin’s NPR Station
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