Artist creates experimental self portrait series on drugs

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 (opens in new tab), 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

Psilocybin Mushrooms

1 sm Glass of Absinth

1 sm Glass of Absinth

Opium

Opium

Abilify / Xanax / Ativan (dosage unknown in hospital)

Abilify / Xanax / Ativan (dosage unknown in hospital)

Bath Salts

Bath Salts

Crystalmeth

Crystalmeth

3mg Klonopin

3mg Klonopin

Khat (chew and tea)

Khat (chew and tea)

Bad LSD

Bad LSD

Ativan / Haloperidol (doseage unknown in hospital)

Ativan / Haloperidol (doseage unknown in hospital)

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

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