Artist creates experimental self portrait series on drugs

Bryan Saunders, a self-portrait artist, draws inspiration from all levels of consciousness.

Bryan Saunders says that art is the greatest therapy, and that it saved his life. In trouble with the police soon as he hit double figures, and fresh out of jail in his early twenties, he moved to Tennessee, started college, and began making art. It changed everything for him.

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That art is geared around self portraits. He's got heaps of sketchbooks of them. In the new issue of ImagineFX, the team spoke to him about one in particular. His 2001 drugs book. 50 self portraits drawn, painted and scratched under the influence of as many drugs.

"The way that I do self portraits, spontaneously during physical and mental experiences, it’s as if I'm both the atist and the lab rat," he told us. In a magazine feature that explores the artist as the art subject, Bryan revealed the philosophy behind his most famous body of work.

Here are 10 of his self-portraits (he estimates that he's finished around 8,700 since 1995) from that book.

Psilocybin Mushrooms

1 sm Glass of Absinth


Abilify / Xanax / Ativan (dosage unknown in hospital)

Bath Salts


3mg Klonopin

Khat (chew and tea)


Ativan / Haloperidol (doseage unknown in hospital)

Bryan Lewis Saunders is an artist, poet and performance artist. Get the new issue of ImagineFX to hear more from him.

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