Paintball Rembrandt

Ralph Steadman, best known for his savage illustrations accompanying the writing of the late Hunter S. Thompson, is a man who thinks best with pen in hand. But what he thinks can go out of control in a hurry, as Thompson himself discovered on their first assignment together, covering the Kentucky Derby in 1970. It was Steadman's poison pen that nearly got them thrown out of several bars and parties. Sharp-toothed exaggeration and malice aforethought are his meat.

So while having a fox trapped in the kitchen would be more than enough to make a great tale for most people, for Steadman it was the starting point. When he decided to illustrate the capture of the rogue fox, the drawing quickly turned into a fox hunt, complete with the red-coated dregs of British society prancing through his kitchen. The fox-hunting drawing was done for Steadman's new partnership with the author Will Self, on display to great effect in "Psychogeography," nominally a collection of Self's ruminations on the effect places exert on the human psyche, but really just an excuse for him to write about his walking obsession, Osama bin Laden and anything that strikes his fancy. Self is not quite Thompson's equal, but so what, so long as Steadman is still at the top of his blistering game?

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