A portrait of Hunter S. Thompson by Ralph Steadman.
Artist Ralph Steadman remained tight with his friend and muse Hunter S. Thompson until the later’s death in 2005—despite the fact that when Steadman first met the gonzo journalist in 1970 he was convinced that Thompson didn’t like him. And he wasn’t wrong.
When Steadman was given the assignment to create illustrations for a story Thompson was penning on the Kentucky Derby for the short-lived publication Scanlan’s Monthly (The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved June 1970, Volume one, Number four), true to form, the notoriously cantankerous Thompson took an “instant dislike” to him. Steadman recalls that Hunter thought he was “pompous” and during several occasions when he was attempting to create some of the illustrations for the Derby story he could hear Thompson muttering the words “For God’s sake, stop your filthy scribbling.”
Although they got off to a rough start (like the majority of Thompson’s relationships with most human beings) the two would go on to collaborate for decades. I’ve been a fan of Steadman’s art since I was a kid thanks to my father and the confrontational artist was the focus of a great documentary back in 2012 For No Good Reason which I highly recommend you check out. Many of Steadman’s portraits of the great Dr. Gonzo, Hunter S. Thompson follow.
The trailer for the 2012 film ‘For No Good Reason.’
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Watch Hunter S. Thompson exchanging gunfire with his neighbors over their cows