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I now want to tell the story of the painting “Fear and Loathing Featuring Rick and Morty” by Neil Jeffrey aka NJ. I wasn’t ever planning on writing this up, but I have been asked so many questions about the painting, I feel it is time to tell the story that the “Easter Eggs” were meant to tell the true fans of both “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” & “Rick and Morty”

It all started off with me coming across a photo on the Net. I have No idea exactly when or where I found the photo, but I can assume it was on reddit/r/pics using hover zoom, and at the time I didn’t have the HD version of the photo so I couldn’t read the Artist’s name that did the original Digital Artwork. Now that I have access to the HD Version and the original reddit post I have a lot of detail that I didn’t have from my low definition download. The Artist paints under the name “Narkos” and he titled the image online as “This is Bat country, Morty! “ Since I have obtained this information I have tracked down the actual name of the Artist which is Joakim Westgren from Sweden, I have contacted him so he could see my painting Titled “Fear and Loathing Featuring Rick and Morty” by “NJ”. Like me, he doesn’t use his real name when he creates artwork, which made it rather difficult to track him down. We have talked and he has given me his blessing on the use of his art which inspired my art. I’m not going to go over the whole conversation but this is the first thing he said when the conversation started via instant messenger “This is really awesome and I'm seriously flattered that you've put such an effort based on a piece of mine”. He also stated “I have seen a few adaptations of this but you are the first one to actually contact and credit me, and that I thank you for.” This is the story of the inspiration for my art, which is an actual Painting that is 37” tall x 73” Long or roughly (3ft x 6ft) and is Painted using 100% ultra-violet paint on vinyl.

First I will describe the edits or “Easter Eggs” from left to right. (1) You first see Morty with a 5’o'clock shadow. I made Morty look like this, so he more resembled what Dr. Gonzo played by Benicio Del Toro looked like in the movie “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” (2) above Morty’s head in the background you see a Mega Tree from Dimension 35-C, which has the perfect conditions for growing "Mega Trees", which grow seeds that Rick requires for his research in Season 1 Episode 1 of Rick and Morty. (3) In the center of the steering wheel you will see my artist logo for NJ that is used in a way like all car manufacturers would use their logo. In this case it is used where the Cadillac logo would have been on the pink Cadillac driven in the beginning scene of “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” (4) You will see an equalizer-style gauge to make the Cadillac dashboard mash up with Rick’s space ship. I didn’t use a speedometer because a space ship would travel much faster and would need an electronic gauge to track the high rates of speed in a space ship. (5) By the gear shifter you will find Kollaxion Crystals, found growing in a parallel universe during the episode "Ricksy Business". Morty, Abradolf Lincler and Nancy are sent out by Rick to collect them. Rick tells them that the crystals are what they need, although he never states what it is they need them for, but Morty assumes that Rick meant that the crystals would take them home. Upon returning with them they find out they are in fact some sort of drug, as Rick cuts them up and snorts it, claiming it to be a powerful but short lived high,which you would see in Season 1 Episode 11, around the 14 minute mark. (6) On the dashboard you will find two seeds that came from the pods that hang from the "Mega Trees" that Rick requires for his research. (7) Top Center you will find a “Dimensional Crack”, on the Left you will find a mash up of other dimensions, and on the right you will see the night sky of earth. (8) In the background on the earth side of the Dimensional crack you will find “Sand and Cactus”. This is to reflect the background that you would see in beginning scene of “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” (9) Mars. At the very top of the painting by the glare in the windshield you will find what appears to be just another one of the stars in Vegas (Earth) sky, but this star is the only one that is not white, it is Orange, yet the same size as all the other stars in sky. I did this because during the final month of me working on the painting, Mars has been moving across the Night sky (In real life, in the month of June 2016) and has been an exceptionally bright glow of orange. ( This would be a good time to point out that the images you see on the internet are so dull compared to what it is like to actually stand in front of the actual painting. As an artist it pains me that the only way I can share my paintings, other than at the shows I put on, is via photos posted on the Net. The large size of my Art is due to the Black Light events I have been involved with for the past 16 years ) (10) On the passenger side dash you will find an interdimensional GPS system that tells the location of which dimension the spacecraft is in. (11) Alien Language from the final episode of Season 2 of Rick and Morty titled “The Wedding Squanchers”. In this episode Earth officially joins the Federation, opening it to direct alien contact and tourism. You can find a sign in this episode that says “Welcome to Earth”, under the English version it spells it out in one of the Rick and Morty Alien languages. So I Rosetta Stoned it in a way I guess you could say. I used the Word Earth in Alien Language to show on the interdimensional GPS system that they are entering the dimension that our earth exists in, suggesting that they are on the road to Las Vegas. (12) The Bat in the upper Right hand side of the painting is to represent the bats That Raoul Duke played by Johnny Depp was swatting at with a fly swatter in the opening scene of “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” when he says “No point mentioning those bats, I thought. The poor bastard will see them soon enough.” This would be a good time to mention that I had no idea that the name of the “Norkos” image was titled “This is Bat country, Morty! “ – All the other Similarities between the Movie and show where done by Joakim Westgren aka “Norkos”.

Now for the story the painting tells.
In the movie “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” Raoul Duke played by Johnny Depp says this about what they have in the trunk as they are driving through the desert in a convertible pink Cadillac on the way to Las Vegas “We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a saltshaker half-full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers... Also, a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of beer, a pint of raw ether, and two dozen amyls. Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get locked into a serious drug collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can” so they are smuggling drugs on a trip to Las Vegas. The show “Rick and Morty” depicts a grandfather Rick who is a genius scientist traveling through space and dimensions with his grandson Morty. The Painting is a mashup of the Movie and the show that depicts Rick and Morty Smuggling drugs from another dimension into Las Vegas. The Mega Tree Seeds represent smuggling and the Kollaxion Crystals represent the drugs they had in the trunk of the car in the movie.
Well I hope the description of all the Easter eggs in the painting and the short description of the movie and the TV show help you see the Painting the way I intended for it to be viewed.



Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” & “Rick and Morty


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