Steadman’s portraits of Walter White and Jesse Pinkman.
Sony / Ralph Steadman / Via ralphsteadman.com
I arrived at the gallery early, all coffee and nerves. Rain clouds loitering above cast an indecisive gloom over my trip from kerb to door. Inside, no one spoke as I made my way down the stairs, passing bodies busy prepping the exhibition space. I stood looking simple for a minute before a man in a T-shirt with a Ralph Steadman cartoon of Raoul Duke driving across Nevada strode over and introduced himself. I shook his hand. “I’m here to talk to Ralph.”
The man showed me to a table in the small foyer as workers ambled over and between us. They scattered branded baggies of blue non-meth sugar crystals on every surface and affixed hashtag stickers on walls at careful angles, props meant to appeal to the cool kids who’d be arriving later to drink free beer and document the scene.
I sat down heavily. “Can I get you a drink?” It was Michael. The man in the Steadman T-shirt. Still smiling. Behind him a team of dozens assembled a small bar stocked with Flying Dog beer, a brand with Steadman-designed labels. A nice touch. “I’ll take a water, thanks.” Water – I told myself – might better convince the staff that I was some kind of professional who knew what he was doing.
The three-day exhibition was set up by Sony to show off the artwork Ralph created for their special edition Breaking Bad box sets. There are six designs in total, one for each box set, featuring Walt, Jesse, Gus, Saul, Mike, and Hank respectively.
“He’ll be with you in two.” Michael was still smiling. He set the water down. I opened my laptop, a clean slice of aluminium milled to appeal …Find Out More