William Burroughs Shotgun painting at auction


22 Responses to “William Burroughs Shotgun painting at auction”

  1. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    He stood behind the gun, but she stood in front of it. They were all blitzed.

    Putting the ineffable into language is notoriously difficult. IMO, Sir Thomas Browne gets closest — it’s like he’s writing plasma containment structures for God. Aside from that, the best one can usually do is try to make true statements about the ineffable: not the same thing at all.

  2. Antinous says:

    Are we sure that’s paint?

  3. jmigmac says:

    I believe the medium is blown mind.

  4. Takuan says:

    he picked out the hair

  5. Antinous says:

    I was thinking of mugwump jizm and everyone else was thinking of Joan.

  6. Takuan says:

    I did too, but murdering a spouse seemed less dirty

  7. nck wntrhltr says:

    I once worked with a guy who lived with Burroughs, near the end of his life, in the house featured in the photo above. He said a bunch of folks would take turns with the shotgun while making these paintings, often while under the influence of various substances.

  8. hassan-i-sabbah says:

    Its not Tim,its not Bill.Stop this.It is unbecoming
    n’r6ftyiftfv098ujj980u098ujnbu9bg[i[vb h h b hbugtcrtf9xcoy ik h.hkigcgluggbyutpou[000000uim0,0.ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

  9. Chinese Jet Pilot says:

    Leary was a pioneer blogger. He documented his own death on his web site.

  10. nikos says:

    IIANM, those paintings are sigils he fired or activated by blowing holes through them with a.45 and or a shotgun.
    He was an IOT elder mage after all.

  11. OM says:

    “One of his last wishes was for his entire archive to be made available through the internet.”

    …Actually, his *last* wish was to die live on the Internet. He *almost* made it, according to most sources.

  12. Gainclone says:

    @7: wtf?

  13. Kyle Armbruster says:

    Can someone buy this for me? I really want it.

  14. ill lich says:

    It’s interesting that they call this piece “untitled”– if I’m not mistaken this appears in a book of Burroughs’ visual art and is titled “Screaming Ghost.” I have a copy of the book somewhere and should dig it out, I believe the book is called “Ports Of Entry.”

    You really have to see these up close or in hi-res to appreciate them, the idea of “shotgun paintings” seems like a novelty, but they actually produce beautiful and interesting textures. For example, he used plywood, in which the grain goes in different directions depending on the layer, so a shotgun blast exposes a lattice-like wound, which is of course also covered with exploded paint.

  15. Antinous says:


    Bug powder.

  16. Melody Platz says:

    They tell people to use the arts as therapy.

    I think creating art by using a shotgun would be a great stress reducer.

  17. lost feliz says:

    There’s a whole catalog that includes a bunch of these paintings from at show at Track 16 Gallery that he had about a year before he died…

    Wonder how much the painting will sell for.

  18. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Takuan, it was ruled an accident.

    Hassan i-Sabbah, please avoid superfluous line returns when you’re being ineffable.

  19. Takuan says:

    without any knowledge but the most trivial second hand stories, I still condemn him. People should play William Tell with their own heads.

    regarding ineffable space, could we develop a stylistic short-hand system? Can the brain really do the work the eye has trained up to?

  20. Orchestra Spy says:

    I bought it!

  21. Orchestra Spy says:

    I’ve put it up for auction. Is this piece of crap even shot with a shotgun?

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