The gonzo branding experts at Kentucky for Kentucky (the folks behind the guerilla state motto campaign “Kentucky Kicks Ass”) have re-imagined Louisvillian Hunter S. Thompson’s famous essay “The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved” as a witty racing program poster, featuring illustrated details from the story rendered in jockey silks. The poster was designed by Rachael Sinclair and printed by Lexington’s Thoroughbred Printing.
The illustrations look like credible silks from a distance, but get cheeky up close. For example, “In-fieldante Delicto” features two figures intertwined on a bed of green, and “Inbred Bloodlines” boasts a very convoluted family tree. Author Thompson and illustrator (and partner in crime) Ralph Steadman have their own designs — one can imagine a jockey sporting the “Gonzo” silks taking a sudden lead at the third turn.
The essay, which loosely documented the 1970 Derby and convinced generations of tourists to expect a riot and/or an emergency room visit on Derby Day, originally ran in Scanlan’s Monthly. Read the entire text here.
is available for order on the Kentucky for Kentucky website in a limited run. ( UPDATE: the poster is now sold out.) UPDATE: A second print run of 500 will be released on KYforKY’s website at 10:30 a.m. Friday, May 3. The initial run of 250 went quickly, so if you want one, be ready.