Near the end of his prolific writing career, Hunter S. Thompson took a page out of William S. Burroughs‘ book (so to speak) and tried his hand at shotgun art. The premise is simple and violent. Hunter would set up balloons full of paint on pictures of Nixon, or whatever weird thing he wanted to splatter with paint, then he’d shoot the balloon and then a big splat later, he’d have art. He tried to sell the pieces, with some takers, but mostly passers, but the point was made: randomized paint splatters were cool, and they were art.
Now the Slow Mo Guys are back for another intense session of destruction that’s boiled down to milliseconds for the sake of strange beauty. They aren’t using high-powered weapons to create these hyperactive paint ballets, but the results are nearly the same, and the intentions are very much in line with what Burroughs and Hunter wanted.
There’s something to be said about these super-slow motion videos. Blowing up a can of paint would be fun in real time, but you get to truly appreciate the beauty that’s gone in an instant in this medium.
Oh, and now that Hunter is gone (RIP), his shotgun paintings are going for big bucks.