Bloomsbury, 2002

Ralph Steadman, the creator of his own inimitable visions of Freud and Leonardo, Alice, Animal Farm and Hunter S. Thompson's infamous Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, has written the world's first triography: a life of his artistic alter ego, the redoubtable Gavin Twinge, as told to Raphael Steed.

Twinge, last remnant of a nineteenth-century domestic-engineering dynasty, founder of the Doodaa school, and pioneer of Barcode Art, Shredded Literature, Centrifugal Abstracts and the 'Philosophy of French Plumbing', is the original angry voice of contemporary art.
From the moment Steed first meets Twinge in a London Bookshop, it becomes his quest to get to the heart of the mystery and discover what makes Twinge tick and how, after Duchamp and the school of Dada, art lost its soul. Whether he has to penetrate the south of France by London Taxi or witness the creation of the first Aerial Abstract as Gavin plummets from the skies over Margate in a hired Cessna, Steed sticks by his man, matching him drink for drink, as he preparres for teh great exhibition that will crown his life's work.

Illustrated throughout in colour and black and white in the author's inimitable style, Doodaaa is a work of comic genius.

‘I am now convinced Twinge exists, and is the archetypal artist: not rich, not famous, not wholly sane; generous, curious and intriguing. It’s what makes the book so difficult to classify. He is not a charlatan, and none of his works are presented as ideas to turn a quick buck. It is a Romantic picture, shot through with the kind of satire that only emerged in the Romantic period — the kind of satire you can't prove is satire. Whatever this is, it is a Rabelaisian riot of a book: scatological, scabrous, ironic, iconoclastic, bibulous and fabulous’
— S.B. Kelly, Scotland on Sunday

‘Gavin Twinge is a hero for our times: subversive, inventive, world-bestriding, world-destroying. He is the Vishnu of vicissitude and the Jehova of juxtaposition. In Ralph Steadman, Twinge has found his apotheosis, his amanuensis, his Boswell’
— Will Self

‘What we have here is not only an amusing tale, but an important document in art history, an insider’s account of what it has been like to be an artist at a time when the only apt artistic response to the atrocities of the twentieth century anyone has so far discovered is the aggressively inane and nonsensical are called Dada’
— Kurt Vonnegut


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