There's nothing those of us in the curatorial department at The Gonzo Gallery like more than something that challenges the sanctity of just about anything. In the art world today, the impregnable, rectangular canvas is one of those things that's presented as a sort of immutable truth. But why? Why are these prints, these paintings, these photographs, all presented in that most unimaginative of shapes?
Hunter found a simple way of deconsecrating the supposedly sacred form: shoot it. From his Self Portrait to posters of Ronald Reagan and Mickey Mouse, he tore apart the accepted image, exploded paint across pristine photos and generally defiled previously "perfect" prints.
William Burroughs and Ralph Steadman, who also liked the concept of destroying any rule, decided to collaborate on their own shotgun series. Steadman created the print, Something New Has Been Added, and he and Burroughs preceded to shoot up the prints with an assortment of different types of ammunition at Burroughs' house in Lawrence, Kansas. The whole strange story is told in the article Bill and Ralph's Excellent Adventure in the Telegraph.
Burroughs already had a thing for shooting art, doors and people even before he collaborated with Steadman. In the 80s and 90s, he shot numerous pieces of his own art, including the Guilty Bystander and the Nameless. He also shot and signed some of his targets including a few that are available at the Gonzo Gallery.
Most of the shotgun prints we've come across are stupidly expensive, and something about them inspires a sort of cultish obsession that makes people not want to resell one once they've bought it. This has made our stockpile of shotgun art a very small one, but finally, after some cash was passed between masked men in the backstreets of Lawrence, we managed to get a few shot and signed editions of "Something New Has Been Added," and can finally offer them for a bit less than it costs for a kidney transplant.