Ralph Steadman, the former Rolling Stone illustrator best known for his work with Hunter S. Thompson, is selling a collection of animated and still pieces as non-fungible tokens on the digital asset marketplace Niftygateway. The sale — fittingly dubbed Fear and Loathing at Niftygateway — will launch next Wednesday, April 28th.
The collection features illustrations that celebrate pivotal moments in Steadman’s career, including two pieces tied to his work with Thompson. There’s an animated illustration of “Dr. Gonzo,” a character from Fear and Loathing and Las Vegas, and another illustration, “Winner’s Circle,” from Thompson’s groundbreaking essay, “The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved.” Other items in the collection include still images of U.S. presidents — some of which have never been released to the public — and a 1996 illustration about the rise of a new digital age.
“When I started out, I wanted to change the world, and I have — it’s worse now than it was when I started,” Steadman said in a statement. “I hope that the NFT space can help make it better for the creatives out there. It’s fascinating after nearly 70 years to discover an entirely new space to present my work.”
For the pieces in the NFT sale, Steadman worked with the creative team at MTAPHR as well as Oscar-nominated animation director Dave Mullins, who handled the animated illustrations. Original music was provided by Grammy-winning producer Matt Winegar.
A portion of the proceeds from Steadman’s NFT sale will be donated to WildAid, an environmental organization dedicated to reducing the demand for animal products.
Along with his work for Rolling Stone and with Thompson, Steadman has done illustrations for The New York Times, The Daily Telegraph and more. He’s also illustrated editions of novels like Alice in Wonderland and Treasure Island, and in 2014 he was the subject of the documentary, For No Good Reason. In 2018, Steadman was tapped by Travis Scott and Quavo to design the cover art for their collaborative album, Huncho Jack, Jack Huncho, while in 2019 he designed the promotional art for the Broadway play Gary, a sequel of sorts to Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus.