Don’t try this at home.
Crystal meth, PCP, cocaine, mushrooms, heroin, hash, ritalin… these are just a tiny sample of the smorgasbord of different drugs artist Bryan Lewis Saunders has been taking in heroic dosages for an art project spanning over ten years.
“Every day I took a different drug or intoxicant and drew a self-portrait of myself under the influence,” he states on his website.
Yup, he’s been getting off his face so he can draw his face.
It was all in a quest to look for “experiences that might profoundly affect my perception of self”. He aptly entitled the experiment “Under the Influence”.
Saunders did suffer mild brain damage for his efforts – that’s commitment to the job.
Luckily it’s repairable and he’s now only taking drugs prescribed to him by his doctor.
Of course, us curious humans have been dabbling with mind altering substances to shift our perceptions for thousands of years, for everything from religious rituals and spiritual development to writing a hit rock song.
It’s no surprise to see how his drawing style and skills dramatically change depending on what drug he’s on.
And they seem to reflect the mood and feelings that each drug creates.
The crystal meth piece is particularly scary.
Below are a sample of the wide variety of twisted portraits Saunders created while “under the influence”.
It’s quite fun to scroll down and guess what drug he might’ve been on before revealing the answer.
A fun game for the whole family!
He told Business Insider that his other more recent projects include a drawing experiment where he was totally blind for 30 days straight and, of course, created a daily self portrait.
“I have done other month-long drawing and life experiments too; no hearing, no talking and so on,” he said, adding that he’s “currently exploring arousal and energy”.
But he’s not the first person to do strange things for art.
Russian, Pyotr Pavlensky nailed his testicles to Red Square in a particularly ballsy political protest.
Vito Acconci masterbated for 8 hours under the floorboards of his exhibit for his aptly named ”Seed Bed” piece in 1972 and Australian Mike Parr had his eyes, ears and lips sewn together in protest against the detention camps of Asylum seekers in Australia.
See more of the strangest things done in the name of art here.