Ralph Steadman is unquestionably known for his illustrations of Hunter S. Thompson’s writings more than any other accomplishment in his long and still winding career. He has been creating works of art since the 60′s, and was a pretty straight laced fella until the very first day he met Hunter and was almost immediately given mescaline. Not only had Ralph never done mescaline, he’d never done any drugs in his entire life. The transformation that followed has unfolded on canvases and the pages of some of Hunter’s most prolific novels including Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas & even a re-imagining of Alice in Wonderland.
Ralph Steadman has also illustrated some classic books by authors other than Hunter S. Thompson. Below are some selections from 2 of the most famous – Animal Farm and Alice in Wonderland.
Ralph Steadman is also an author in his own right despite Hunter’s claim that Ralph was a much better artist than he was a writer. Steadman has pennned books about Hunter S. Thompson along with Sigmund Freud, and on subjects as broad as wine.
He’s also not above a bit of corporate selling out, which in this case is a good thing because who needs another generic product package when these beautiful 6-pack foldouts are so much more ascetically pleasing.
Here’s a fascinating clip from Gonzo Vision that features Ralph Steadman and some of his closest friends explaining that early relationship with Hunter and the drugs.