Above is a self-portrait from the artist Bryan Lewis Saunders created while he was sober. Below are his self-portraits done under the influence of either recreational or prescription drugs. Saunders has drawn over 8,690 self-portraits – at least one each day since March 30th 1995 – and testifies he will continue to do so for the rest of his life. About 11 years ago he went through a stint of creating his self-portrait while high on a series of different drugs. From coke to computer duster, Bryan Lewis Saunders looked for an experience that would profoundly affect his perception of self.
Within weeks I became lethargic and suffered mild brain damage.
Huh, you don’t say?
Take a look at his drug series below.
God I wish he had a better camera so we could see all the details. The amount of effort that was put forth is pretty amazing! This shit must have taken weeks, if not months, to build. And I love his expression of accomplishment at the very end. I guess the ol’ adage holds true; idle hands are indeed the devil’s workshop.
The counterculture holiday of April 20th has manifested into not only as a day to celebrate the consumption of cannabis, but by extension, a means for individuals to express their identity as a member within this community. Otherwise known as the day where Comedy Central runs Half Baked and Cheech and Chong Up In Smoke on repeat, and where kids across America eat three well balanced meals consisting of Doritos, Funyuns and Mountain Dew. I would assume it has become the pseudo Black Friday for the snack industry as well.
But aside from the recreational uses (and the flack that gets), Mary Jane’s medical benefits have become Your Girl Friday to the Drug Policy Reform Campaign. Legalization of marijuana for medicinal use is politically viewed as a slippery slope, but Bay area fine-art photographer, Robin Twomey created a documentary series to help debunk this ideology. Her intimate portraits are of San Franciscan patients that are facing major physical and mental health problems which range from rare forms of leukemia, to your everyday personality disorders. The murky laws wafting around pot’s pharmaceutical practices tend to overshadow these patients and stereotype them as yet another solicitant seeking a quality high. But in a city where everyone and their mom is club card carrying member, Robyn Twomey graces these patients with a valid photo I.D.
For more background information on Twomey’s Medicine Exhibit, check out this high society.