Ralph Steadman: A Life in Ink (and Quarantine)

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Ralph Steadman has long been admired by illustrators, designers and journalists alike. His signature ink-splattered style, political illustrations and award-winning books have captured audiences for more than 50 years. Now, Chronicle Books has published the definitive career retrospective of the provocative U.K. artist.

Ralph Steadman: A Life in Ink is a gorgeous must-have for anyone inspired by “Gonzo” journalism, enamored by 1970s counterculture, or impressed by a good satirical sketch. The monograph includes pieces from dozens of Steadman’s books. A true pandemic project, Steadman and his team began work on the 300-page book in late 2019, right around the time rumors of a new virus started flying.

By the time the earliest proofs of the book were being passed around, the UK was only two weeks away from a full lockdown. It became clear that due to COVID-19, the majority of A Life in Ink would have to be created virtually. With hard work from everyone involved, the use of DropBox, Zoom, iPad photography, social distancing and an incredibly strict schedule, A Life in Ink was born.

The hard work and dedication that make this book so special is noticeable in every detail—from the sheer number of pieces showcased, right down to the signature splattered cover. Ralph Steadman: A Life in Ink is available for purchase through Chronicle, Amazon, and everywhere books are sold.

Hankering for more awesome books? Check out our roundup of the Best Art and Design Books of 2020 here.

All photos courtesy of Chronicle Books.