It was “Hi How Are You” Day 2021, a day created to celebrate the late great Daniel Johnston, the Vincent Van Gogh of shoegazing pop music, when artist and longtime Daniel collaborator Ron English received a forgotten recording of a song he wrote with Daniel years ago, from producer Earl Norman, who had recorded it and rediscovered it on his computer.
The haunting song, titled “Big Empty Ego,” echoed the emptiness of the strange bubble of fame in which the tortured artist existed. The question was what to do with such an unusual musical treasure. By a series of fortunate turns of fate, the little recording will soon transform into a white-hot NFT, the ideal vehicle to encapsulate decades of collaboration between the two artists.
Ron teamed up with the Daniel Johnston estate and Clutter studios to facilitate the production of a line of art toys based on Daniel’s iconic characters. Using a 3d model of Jeremiah the frog, Daniel’s signature character, Ron worked with Clutter studios to retrofit his own signature treatment of “the Grin” onto the piece and placed it into English’s iconic Delusionville environment.
The song was delivered as raw tracks to producer Joe Johnson, old friend and longtime producer of both Daniel and Ron’s musical endeavors. Joe gave the same love to this lost song that he had bestowed upon the first Daniel Johnston album that Joe had produced many years ago in Austin, Texas, “Continued Story,” completing the journey from inspiration to execution yet again within the same old circle of friends.
Ed Zipco of Superchief Gallery, a longtime fan of both Daniel Johnston and Ron English, pounced on the opportunity to release the NFT project through his new platform–the ONLY NFT platform with a NYC Gallery! The series releases May 1, 2021. Stay tuned!
Ron’s social media:
Superchief Gallery 56 East 11th St, NYC Tel. (213) 538-8260
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