Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72 Signed by Ralph Steadman

Hunter S. Thompson's uniquely incisive coverage of the 1972 Presidential election (Nixon vs. McGovern) was published in installments in Rolling Stone in 1972 and collected in book form in 1973. It is illustrated by the formidable Ralph Steadman. The artist has signed a copy to Stephen Parr and taken Thomas W. Benton's Vietnam War-era image of the helmeted American GI skull whose eyeglasses reflect a rising swastika—nothing tame here—and amended it by adding a rudimentary pair of horns. While this barely qualifies as a drawing, it does manage to make the book's central image look even more sinister.

Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing:  On the Campaign Trail '72, 1973

Inscribed at a signing in 2006 with a drawing of horns on the Benton skull "For Stephen Parr~/Ralph Steadman"

  "A Retrospective:  Ralph Steadman" is now on view at the Society of Illustrators. It will remain in New York through October 22 only. Don't miss it.

I'm always on the lookout for original art by Ralph Steadman that escaped the clutches of the artist, or for original scribblings and spatterings in books, letters, and such. If you've got something to share with the world here on the old blog, please don't treat me with fear and loathing.

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