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HomeContentsCommentaries > Colin Westerbeck: Photo Synthesis

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Tim HawkinsonOctopus
Cindy ShermanUntitled Film Still #82
Robert Glenn KetchumLakeshore in Morning Fog
Abelardo MorellCamera Obscura Image of the Grand Tetons in Resort Room, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
John SanchezRachel Rosenthal, Artist
Mitch EpsteinBuena Vista, Colorado
Leland RiceVolkswagen With Figure
Catherine WagnerThe Lamps of 1900
Ned SloaneTelephone Pole Piece, Los Angeles: Photograph of Kim Jones
Andrew Freeman#3.4.04- Don Becker's Garage & Guesthouse, Independence, California N36O.48.229 - W118O.11.620
Ken Gonzales-DayFranklin Avenue (1920)
Jo Ann CallisMan in Tie
Bruce NaumanBurning Small Fires (Artist Book)
Annie LeibovitzScarlett Johansson, Chateau Marmont, West Hollywood
David MaiselOblivion 1382-52p
Gilbert B. WeingourtTimothy Leary
Richard MisrachUntitled (Ocotillo)
Edward SteichenSylvia Sidney, Hollywood
Ruben OchoaFwy Wall Extraction
Hunter S. Thompson and othersFrom "Gonzo"
Henry WesselLas Vegas No. 15
James FeeEpiphany
John BaldessariFace (with Red Nose): Plus Four Alternate Noses
Anthony HernandezEverything #2
Ansel AdamsGraduation dress
Loretta AyeroffMountain View, Edris Drive
Grant MudfordWalt Disney Concert Hall, Under Construction #7
Frederick SommerStendhal
Tina ModottiInterior of the Church Tower at Tepotzotlan
Henri Cartier-BressonMexico City
Irving PennHell's Angels, San Francisco
William DassonvilleFrom Glacier Point
Christina FernandezFashion International
Mark LaitaAir Traffic Controller, Todd Phipps, Palmdale, California, May 5, 2006
Juggler, Sergey Gripkov, Los Angeles, February 21, 2000
Mark WyseUntitled Landscape
U.S. Air Force 1352nd Photographic Group, Lookout Mountain StationSugar, 1.2 Kilotons, Nevada
Julius ShulmanVon Sternberg Residence, Northridge
Joaquin TrujilloAmy, Los Ninos
Robert HeineckenShiva Manifesting as a Single Mother
Han NguyenTsunami
Melanie EinzigBikram Yoga Instructor, North Beach, San Francisco
John Patrick SalisburyUntitled No. 134
Karen HalversonGamble House Entry
Bill Owens4th of July Parade, Pleasanton, California
Catherine OpieMy Studio, Suzanne's Work
Eliot PorterReflections in Pool, Escalante River, Utah
Adam BartosLos Angeles
Stan HondaFrom the Heart Mountain Barracks Project
Hiromu KiraThe Thinker
Jeff MermelsteinYosemite National Park, California
Lewis BaltzWest Wall, Unoccupied Industrial Structure, 20 Airway Drive, Costa Mesa
Dennis HopperRobert Irwin
Hansel Mieth and Otto HagelS.F. Water Front
Edward BurtynskyOxford Tire Pile #8, Westley, California
Beahan & McPheeAlmond Trees and Flood Irrigation, Oakdale
Larry SultanBoxers, Mission Hills
Isabel GomesBlue Horizon, Santa Rosa Island
Edward WestonCabbage Leaf
Anthony FriedkinOffshore Winds, Zuma Beach
Richard LongDonner Pass Circle: Along a 20 Day Walk from Ebbetts Pass to the North Fork Feather River Sierra Nevada California 2005
John SwopeDorothy McGuire, Beverly Hills
Hans-Christian SchinkLA Night #1
Herve FriendRedlands From Smiley Hill
Joel SternfeldQueen of the Prom, the Range Nightclub, Slab City, California
   
Standard
  
  
Hunter S. Thompson and others 
From "Gonzo" 
1979 (ca) 
  
© 2006 www.ammobooks.com 
  
 
LL/16182 
  
Photo Synthesis
Colin Westerbeck
 
"GONZO," a limited edition published by Ammo Books, is also an exhibition on view at M+B gallery in Los Angeles until Jan. 20. (2007)
 
Like Ralph Steadman's drawings, which illustrated Hunter S. Thompson's prose in Rolling Stone, Thompson's life contained a lot of splatter. Besides spilled booze, dribbled drugs and even some blood, there were lots of half-baked ideas and throwaway snapshots strewn around his Colorado compound.
 
Though put together by Ammo Books' Steve Crist after Thompson's suicide, this layout seems a good representation of his photography. Thompson wanted it to be like his writing: stream-ofconsciousness or, better still, unconsciousness. There must be, he said, "no alterations in the darkroom, no cutting or cropping, no spotting . . . no editing." It didn't even matter who took the pictures. Two-thirds of these are of him, not by him. (This is in keeping with "Gonzo," a form of journalism that replaces observation with self-absorption.)
 
The pictures of Thompson as an Arab terrorist by girlfriend Laila Nabulsi seem weirdly prescient today, but overall the impression is of a lifestyle receding into history like his convertible, "the Red Shark," disappearing down a Nevada highway. Bill Murray, seen twice here, was soon to make a pretty good movie based on "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas." But the 1998 remake, produced by Nabulsi, was unwatchable. The message, as everyone who came of age in the '60s knows, is that you can't go home again. Maybe Thompson's own acceptance of that was what compelled him to shoot himself last year.
 
[Originally published in West Magazine : December 17, 2006, p.13] 
 
 
  
 
  
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