Graffiti

Austin graffiti and street art are defining of the city. Graffiti artists create the images we see through out town using multiple medias including:  murals, posters and spray painted stencils on walls and sidewalks. Some of these are legal and some aren’t. I always find them interesting and think they add character when they are creative or well thought out.

A particularly famous exhibit of graffiti art in Austin can be found on the drag. In 1993, Daniel Johnston painted the mural, which features an image of a frog with the words “Hi how are you” arched above it. Johnston called the frog Jeremiah the Innocent.

The frog mural by Daniel Johnston (credit Birzer on flicker.com)

The frog mural by Daniel Johnston (credit Birzer on flicker.com)

In 2004, this mural that over the last 10 years had become iconic of Austin received a lot of press. That year the “Save the Frog” campaign occurred, when the building, which featuring the frog on the corner of Guadalupe and 23rd street, was being turned into a Baja Fresh (now the sushi restaurant, Crave). The new owners had planned to tear down the wall with the mural on it.  Builders received much confrontation and protest from hundred of Austinites, eventually resulting in the preservation of the wall and frog. This event received national notoriety and in January of 2004 the article “Johnston Frog Mural Saved” was published in Rolling Stone featuring the incident and the artist.

There is also a lot of “Hi how are you” frog merchandise produced, from T-shirts to figurines. If you’re interested you can check them out at,  as well as listen to Johnston’s music, read his bio and a lot more at his official web page: www.hihowareyou.com.

Daniel Johnston is also a musician who has collaborated with many musicians including Yo La Tengo and Okkervile River. He has also had a documentary made about him called “The Devil and Daniel Johnston.”

Carrot graffitti can be seen in various locations in central Austin. (credit pusgums @ flicker.com)

Graffiti of carrots can be seen at random places central Austin. (credit pusgums @ flicker.com)

 Stencil and spray paint graffitti in Austin. (credit overprocessed @ flicker.com)

Stencil and spray paint graffiti in Austin. (credit overprocessed @ flicker.com)

Today, there are many images throughout the city that you may see traveling around the city on any given day.

-Samantha

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3 Responses to “Graffiti”


  1. 1 Caitlin W November 4, 2008 at 4:40 pm

    Johnston’s music is SO WEIRD. A friend of mine bought an album, and it seriously creeped me out. I’ve never seen the documentary, but I understand it’s pretty far out there. I love that such an interesting character left his mark on our city!

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