An Artist’s Self-Portraits While On Various Drugs

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Performance artist/poet Bryan Lewis Saunders has been drawing self-portraits every day since 1995. He’s a particular looking man — balding, bespectacled, bearded, with a chipped, fragmented forehead, a long scaly body of a snake, and pink liquid undulating flesh. Wait, no, that’s him on crystal meth, Adderall, and two bottles of cough syrup. “I devised another experiment where everyday I took a different drug and drew myself under the influence,” he explains. Each self-portrait reveals a particular toll the chemicals are taking on his motor skills, the aesthetic detours and embellishments they inspire, and a bit, the actual experience of each drug. “Within weeks I became lethargic and suffered mild brain damage,” he says. “I am still conducting this experiment but over greater lapses of time. I only take drugs that are given to me.” Art is hard, kids. Don’t try this one at home.

Psilocybin mushrooms (2 caps onset). Image by Bryan Lewis Saunders

1 “bump” of crystal meth. Image by Bryan Lewis Saunders

2mg Xanax. Image by Bryan Lewis Saunders

100mg Trazadone. Image by Bryan Lewis Saunders

10mg Adderall. Image by Bryan Lewis Saunders

1/2 gram cocaine. Image by Bryan Lewis Saunders

2 bottles of cough syrup. Image by Bryan Lewis Saunders

Morphine IV. Image by Bryan Lewis Saunders (doseage unknown)

3mg Klonopin. Image by Bryan Lewis Saunders

Hash. Image by Bryan Lewis Saunders

PCP. Image by Bryan Lewis Saunders

Butane honey oil. Image by Bryan Lewis Saunders

Computer duster (2 squirts). Image by Bryan Lewis Saunders

60mg Geodon. Image by Bryan Lewis Saunders

Valium IV, (Albuterol, Saline & Oxygen) mixture. Image by Bryan Lewis Saunders