When Hunter S. Thompson Tried to Win the West

Aspen Wall Poster #3, 1970. Hunter S. Thompson and Thomas W. Benton. (Courtesy Freak Power Art Collection)
The gonzo reporter ran for sheriff in 1970, with the gonzo campaign posters to show for it.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE T here’s no better time than today for a splash of Gonzo. Freak Power is the new exhibition at Poster House in Manhattan. It’s very fun, very serious, and very good. It’s about the posters promoting Hunter S. Thompson’s 1970 candidacy for sheriff of Pitkin County in Colorado, at the center of which is Aspen.

Political journalism is impoverished, except for sycophancy and hackery. In both of these, the field is alive, but alive like the Walking Dead. Hunter Thompson (1937–2005), now, there’s a journalist. Rolling Stone’s roving reporter-cum-novelist gave the profession a jolt with Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas in

(Photo: Stephanie Powell)

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