Hunter S. Thompson

Hell's Angels, Kissing Guys ca 1960
©Hunter S Thompson

Hunter S. Thompson

C type print

91.5x91.5cm

"I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me.”
Hunter S. Thompson


In early 2007, Michael Hoppen Gallery put on the first UK exhibition of photographs of and by American iconic author and journalist, Hunter S. Thompson. These photographs, many previously unseen and from Thompson’s own personal archives show a visual history and insight into the strange and wonderful world of Hunter S. Thompson.

Thompson’s innovative style of Gonzo journalism, a blurring between author and subject, fiction and non-fiction, made him one of the greatest and most unique voices of his time. These photographs had never before been exhibited in Europe, and reflect his writing style - wild, erratic, and provocative. Much of Thompson’s fiction was based on his unpredictable experiences captured in these photographs: on the road with the Hell’s Angels, running for Sheriff in Aspen, alongside his attorney in Las Vegas (immortalised in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas), his time in the Air Force and a contemplative Hunter in one of his rare quiet moments writing on a cliff top in Big Sur. The exhibition included illuminating self-portraits that, like his writings, expose the man behind this cult figure who was notoriously fond of drugs and firearms.

Born in Kentucky, 1937, Hunter, who spent his High School Graduation in a Juvenile Detention Centre and joined the Air Force until he was honourably discharged in 1957. He worked as a reporter in South America where he wrote his first novel, The Rum Diary (1959, not published until 1999), which was notably followed by Hells’s Angels (1967), Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas (1971, first published in Rolling Stone Magazine) and The Curse of Lono (1984) amongst others. Hunter S Thompson ended his own life on the 20th February 2005. Close friend Johnny Depp, fulfilled his wishes by building a custom 153 foot tall cannon that blasted his ashes over his beloved Owl Farm.

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