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Ralph Steadman, the creator of his own inimitable visions of Freud, Dante, Orwell, Alice and the Great Gonzo, now offers the (auto)biography of his artistic alter ego, the redoubtable Gavin Twinge. Twinge, last remnant of a nineteenth-century 'domestic engineering' dynasty, founder of the DOODAAA school, and pioneer of Barcode Art, Shredded Literature and Aerial Abstracts, is the original angry voice of contemporary art. The question Steadman sets out to answer is: Who hurt Gavin into art? Was it his mother, who fought in the Spanish Civil War? Or Gavin's travelling salesman 'father'? Or indeed, his biological father, the little-known Beat poet Howell Northern? Or Silas Gonad, the sinister doctor who attended at his birth? Or the art establishment itself? From the moment Steadman first meets Twinge, it becomes his quest to get to the heart of the mystery. Whether he has to penetrate the deep south of the South of France by London taxi, where Gavin finds inspiration with his fellow Doodaaists or witness the creation of the banned installation 'The Philosophy of French Plumbing', Steadman sticks by his man, matching him drink.
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Ralph Steadman, artist, writer, sculptor, political cartoonist and designer of labels for vintage wines, is the author of many illustrated books including Sigmund Freud, I Leonardo, The Big I am, The Scar-strangled Banner, Alice and Animal Farm. He is the Gardening Correspondent for Rolling Stone and illustrator of Hunter S. Thompson's infamous Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. This is his first (auto)biography.From Publishers Weekly:
New Yorker cartoonist and Hunter S. Thompson collaborator Steadman sends up modern art with this energetic but ungainly combination of solemn aesthetics and oddball satire. The book is a fictional "triography" of one Gavin Twinge, leader of the "Doodaaa group," a coterie of avant-garde artists loosely based on the Dada movement. Paragons of bohemian excess, Twinge and company go on epic drinking binges and push the boundaries of art with bizarre experimental pieces in which they paint with gnat blood or heat up beer cans until they explode onto a canvas. Mostly, though, they function as mouthpieces for enthusiastic and rambling disquisitions on, among other things, philistinism, the soul-deadening effects of formal education and the history of flush toilets. Unfortunately, Steadman's fertile comic imagination is somewhat hobbled by sluggish pacing and a fondness for art-school palaver. The narrative lurches from rumination to picaresque and back again; sections on art and philosophy are marked by overwriting ("Gavin had kept alive a memory of art in flux, fractured by two world wars, shot senseless in a post-war miasma of rationed optimism and left for dead on a floor smeared with childish ideals of freedom, self-fulfillment and bright futility") and convoluted thinking ("The human condition actually cannot accept the reality of nature because the human condition has allowed reason to enter, and nature knows nothing of human reason"). Amusing bits pop up here and there, but in the end, it's hard to parody a world that seems to lean into self-parody often enough on its own. Illus.
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Book Description Bloomsbury, 2002. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0747560803
Book Description Condition: New. NEW. Seller Inventory # CALGARY 065