Tag Archives | Ralph Steadman

Alice Goes Gonzo

alice

This year we celebrate the sesquicentennial of Alice in Wonderland — a landmark of kid lit and a cornerstone of psychedelic fiction. This probably won’t be my last post about Alice.

As a fantasy for the wee, Alice inspires illustrations, and it’s assumed that Walt Disney owns that territory. Little did I know that Ralph Steadman’s pen had penetrated Wonderland, bringing his pointed probings to the gonzo goings-on in this important tale about growing up and growing small…

Here, Steadman is cast as Alice’s godfather, the wizard with the wisdom to will the wild out of his charge, pointing her past the mundane to the mirthful, the macabre, the miraculous. See a collection of Steadman’s 1973 images at Brainpickings. Also be sure to check out this exhaustive Steadman documentary, For No Good Reason

Stay Awake!

Please subscribe to my YouTube channel where I archive all of the videos I curate at Insomnia.… Read the rest

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Going Gonzo!

Hunter Sam

Fear and Loathing On the Road to Hollywood is a documentary featuring writer Hunter S. Thompson and artist Ralph Steadman on a road trip to Tinsel Town. Also known as Fear and Loathing in Gonzovision, the Documentary Heaven site has the skinny…

A fascinating, 30 year old BBC documentary on the Good Doctor and Ralph Steadman, five years after Nixon’s resignation, and on a road trip to Hollywood (to work on what would become Where the Buffalo Roam).

Includes an interesting scene of John Dean chatting with Hunter about his Watergate testimony (at about 32 minutes), the birth of the “Re-Elect Nixon Campaign” (with a Bill Murray cameo), and a remarkably eerie scene with Hunter and Ralph planning Hunter’s final monument and his ashes being shot into the air, long before the actual fact.

Here is Fear and Loathing in Gonzovision. YouTube has removed the sound on most versions of this due to copyright infringement, but this playlist has audio up through the last 6 minutes — the best version available…

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How Hunter S. Thompson and Psilocybin Influenced the Art of Ralph Steadman

ralph-steadman-fear-and-loathing-in-las-vegas-by-hunter-s-thompsonOpen Culture revisits the influence of Hunter S. Thompson on the art of Ralph Steadman.

Via Open Cuture.

Though the two men only occasionally collaborated over their long friendship, the work of Kentucky-born “gonzo” journalist Hunter S. Thompson and that of British illustrator Ralph Steadman enjoy a cultural symbiosis: Thompson’s style of writing puts you in the mind of Steadman’s style of drawing, and vice versa even more so. At this point, I have a hard time imagining any suitable visual accompaniment to the simultaneously clear- and wild-eyed sensibility of Thompsonian prose — “I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone,” he famously said, “but they’ve always worked for me” — other than the bold strokes and violent blotches with which Steadman renders visions of highly controlled madness. The clip above, from Alex Gibney’s documentary Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, explores the origins of their aesthetic and psychological partnership.

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William S. Burroughs: Paint it Blacker

As many readers of these here illuminated letters surely know, the great author/Beat ghost/junky/exterminator William S. Burroughs also added the title of “painter” to his resume before his death in 1997. He began painting in his later years while living in Lawrence Kansas, but his relationship with painting and painters began much earlier.

I like to trace Burroughs’ origins as a painter back to his 1959 meeting with Brion Gysin. Gysin was also a polymath and his written work is as underrated as his paintings were during his lifetime. Gysin died in 1986 and while his sometimes-stunning prose has yet to be reconsidered, the publication of a few great books and the organizing of gallery retrospectives have seen his visual art getting the respect it deserves all these years later. Of course, Burroughs was way ahead of the curve: “I don’t think I’d seen painting until I saw the painting of Brion Gysin,” he once snarled.… Read the rest

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