Toward the end of 2014 I was presented with the opportunity of a lifetime when the legendary artist Ralph Steadman gave Jud Bergeron and I approval to attempt to sculpt his most iconic of images “Vintage Dr Gonzo”. Jud, one of my closest friends and a master sculptor eagerly accepted the challenge. Jud and I are lifelong fans and admirers of Ralph’s and our passion threw us into the project full force. We were thoroughly inspired when we began our dialogue with Ralph on how to fully embrace and capture the Gonzo spirit. Capturing the energy of Vintage Dr Gonzo in a three dimensional form was going to be no easy task but between the three of us we were determined and had the talent to complete the challenge. With Ralph's gracious and consistent support and critique, we threw ourselves into making this dream a reality. Now, the dream is true.
Fast forward to July of this year, the bronze was completed and Jud, myself and our videographer Colin Day were on our way to London for the unveiling of the bronze. Lazariedes Editions in London was graciously hosting, and I was eager to see the venue. Because of the timing of the projects completion, I had yet to see the finished work. We rushed to the gallery and what I saw took my breath away. Despite customs, jet lag and the stress of the event, I felt in my heart that we had truly captured the Gonzo spirit.
But Ralph had yet to see the bronze in person, and we were all justifiably anxious and eager to hear his feedback. The following evening we met Ralph and his charming family for drinks before the opening. We held our breath as Ralph greeted his masterpiece with the enthusiasm of seeing an old friend. Ralph gave the finished work his strong seal of approval which humbled and gratified us all in a way that’s tough to put into words. The opening that evening celebrated the launch of Ralphs new book “Nextinction” as well as our small contribution to Ralphs Gonzo legacy. It was a wonderful evening and a huge success.
The next day we had the once in a lifetime privilege to share time with Ralph and his family at his home and studio in Kent. Coincidentally on Hunters birthday, unbeknown to us! The coincidence struck as all as a cosmic affirmation of all that is right and true, to loosely quote the good doctor. Drinks were had, and memories were made as we made merry through the day. This video is but a glimpse into our afternoon, but I am honored to share it with all of you.
My heartfelt thanks and gratitude go out to Ralph and Anna Steadman for trusting Jud and I with this huge responsibility. Bringing Dr Gonzo to life has been tremendously gratifying and I appreciate the opportunity very much. Thank you Sadie Williams! You've been amazing and extremely helpful every step of the way and without you none of this would have been possible. To the entire Steadman family, From California I raise my glass and salute you! It's been an honor and a pleasure working with you. and I am so honored to have gotten to know you through this process and I'm so excited for what the future holds.
Gonzo will live forever and your contribution to the world of art will forever be celebrated!