Drugs have probably always had some place in the creative process. American artist Bryan Lewis Saunders has taken it to the limit and experimented with most of the common recreational drugs, each time working on a self-portrait.
Saunders’ drugs project may seem controversial, yet it is an exciting one… And it is also a tough challenge for his physical and mental health.
“After experiencing drastic changes in my environment, I looked for other experiences that might profoundly affect my perception of the self. So I devised another experiment where everyday I took a different drug and drew myself under the influence."
However after a few weeks of intensive drug-taking the artist had to visit doctors for help as he started experiencing problems.
“Within weeks I became lethargic and suffered mild brain damage. I am still conducting this experiment but over a longer time period. I only take drugs that are given to me.”
During his experiment the artists created dozens of self-portraits, in which Saunders tried to visually express the effect this or that drug produced on his mind. Among the portraits are rather human-like images along with abstract and disturbing drawings.
Saunders drew while tripping on various substances ranging from cocaine, psilocybin mushrooms and marijuana, to DMT, morphine and PCP.