Bat country moves to Albuquerque, NM tomorrow as iconic Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas artist Ralph Steadman's bombastic series of Breaking Bad illustrations hit London's 71A Gallery. Originally designed for a special release of Breaking Bad DVDs, Steadman worked closely with the show's creator Vince Gilligan to capture the ever-shifting villains and protagonists of each season in his signature splatteres, color-outside-the-lines style.
“When I first floated the idea of approaching Ralph to work with us on this project, it was a bit of a pipe dream on my part,” Gilligan says. “I can barely describe the combination of disbelief and giddy joy I felt when I heard he was on board to do it! Ralph is the Walter White of artists: he’s a dark genius whose output is disturbing, yet habit-forming."
Steadman revealed details about his process and the way he thought about each character illustration to The Telegraph. Here's his explanation of drawing Walter White:
"I printed out photographs of them and then watched all the series and some of it stayed in my head. I started drawing the picture of Walt without looking at anything at all. Walt has a certain look to him. I thought the drawing I did of him, that head-on look at him, was like him in an undoubted way. I realised that you can draw the top of his head with a compass. It’s perfect. It’s just one of those things I take on board those things and say yes, that’s an idea, and bring those in because it says something.
"Walt says he's only doing it for his family, but one thing leads to another and he gets deeper and deeper and there’s no going back. He has to see it through. But there’s something a little too perfect about his head for him to be as good as he claimed to be as first."
The show is free and open from Febuary 13-15, and will be accompanied by Breaking Bad fan art, curated by Steadman himself. If Better Call Saul doesn't quite replace your Breaking Bad addiction, snag the nearest RV and head to London for the exhibit while you still can.
Immerse yourself in the wild world of Ralph Steadman's art on his official website.