Johnny & Hunter S. Thompson

Like Johnny Depp, Hunter S. Thompson was born in Kentucky, USA. A legendary writer and journalist, he garnered attention for his Gonzo journalism after Rolling Stone published an article he wrote on his two-year experience riding with the Hells Angels outlaw motorcycle gang. In 1966, he expanded the piece into a bestseller that took readers deep inside the subculture largely inaccessible to the outside world. In 1971, he did it again, and what began as an assignment from Sports Illustrated to go to Las Vegas and write a 250-word photo caption on a motorcycle race (the Mint 400) became a novel for the ages: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

Almost two decades later, the book was adapted into a film where Johnny played Thompson himself. The pair met on the film set and bonded over Thompson's story of “a savage journey into the heart of the American dream.” They soon became fast friends and Johnny later starred as the lead in the book-to-film adaptation of Thompson's The Rum Diary. 

Following Thompson's tragic death in 2005, Johnny was present at his private funeral where the writer's wishes that his ashes to be fired from a canon were honoured. In a testament to his dynamic character and lasting impression on Johnny, the artist immortalised Thompson's profile on the canvas in February 2023, as part of the Friends & Heroes II collection. Using his signature automatic mark-making techniques, Johnny saluted his friend's charismatic personality with bold Pop Art colour blocking and bursts of neon green writing. 

Hunter S. Thompson by Johnny Depp, Friends & Heroes II collection, 2023