Sunday, October 9, 2016

Gonzo Collecting

Today a private collector is sharing with us part of a remarkable collection of original Ralph Steadman art and Hunter S. Thompson memorabilia. It must have been exceedingly challenging to assemble all this first-rate gonzo material.

Scarecrow Executive is the Jackalope's first acquisition of original illustration art by Mr. Steadman. It is a masterly evocation of futility and desolation in the corporate world.
Ralph Steadman, Scarecrow Executive

Highlights of the Jackalope's collection include several pieces of original Steadman artwork purchased from the Rolling Stone archives that provided iconic illustrations to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

Ralph Steadman's limited edition print of Hunter S. Thompson has been shot through and through by Thompson, Steadman, and writer William S. Burroughs. It is dated May 6, 1995 and is signed by all three. To my knowledge, Ralph Steadman's gunplay has never resulted in any fatalities. I'll just leave it at that.
Ralph Steadman, Hunter S. Thompson, Limited edition 4/5, with gunshot holes
Signed by William S. Burroughs, Hunter S. Thompson, and Ralph Steadman, Woody Creek, 6 May 1995

A print of Vintage Dr. Gonzo also has been shot through.
Ralph Steadman, Vintage Dr. Gonzo print blasted with a shotgun
Signed by William S. Burroughs, Hunter S. Thompson, and Ralph Steadman
This collection packs some firepower:
Gun from the collection of Hunter S. Thompson, a .357 Colt Python in a contemporary display box

In 1970, Hunter Thompson ran for sheriff of Pitkin County. His campaign posters were designed by Thomas W. Benton. Thompson did not win the election.
Thomas W. Benton, Patriots Arise, 1970
Thomas W. Benton, Thompson for Sheriff, 1970

This 1995 poster protests the expansion of the Pitkin County airport:
Thomas W. Benton, There is some shit we won't eat
Woody Creek Caucus 1995
Signed and annotated "No" by Hunter S. Thompson

Note:  Thanks to the Jackalope for sharing these amazing pieces. See more of the Jackalope's stunning collection on Instagram.

Surely Ralph Steadman's Scarecrow Executive must have been published, but where? If you know, send word.

The reason I've spent so much time asking for pictures of signed books with drawings by Ralph Steadman is I didn't believe there was much original published art out there in private hands. Now that I've seen all this amazing art in one collection, naturally I'd love to be able to share even more with my discerning readers. So, if you've got original Steadman art hanging in your dining room horrifying your dinner guests, why not send a picture or two this way.

By now everyone knows that "A Retrospective:  Ralph Steadman" is showing at the Society of Illustrators in Manhattan, so I'm not going to mention it.

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