Bryan Lewis Saunders, is a man who is not a stranger to putting his body and mind through hell for the sake of his work. The Virginia born, Tennessee based artist put his health on the line for the sake of his art project that entailed him drawing a portrait of himself being inspired by his emotions and his environment.
Saunders started this project in 1995 and while a number of his pieces are amazing to look at, his series entitled “Drugs” is probably the stand out collection in the series. This series of sketches began in 2001 and continued over eleven days stretching between eighteen different substances giving a variety of different pieces.
Saunders took a different narcotic everyday for weeks and drew himself under the influence being inspired by the effects of the drugs. It is an experiment that we don’t condone, but one we like to look at none the less. What is most interesting is the number of changes in style and pattern between the different substances. After all he did dose himself with everything from psychedelic Magic Mushrooms, cannabis, lighter fluid to computer screen cleaner all in the name of art.
Though this topic is one that has inspired endless debate of the link between drugs and art or the notion of mind-altering chemicals in a creative arena we believe the work is interesting and deserves to be the focal point. When looking at the images one can make the connection between the listed drug and the output, for instance the way the drawings under the influence of hallucinogens are colourful and slightly surreal highlight the known side effects. Then when you compare these to the drawings done under the influence of substances like bath salts or klonopin, it becomes a real study of the way the motor skills are affected by the different drugs.
Overall this is a interesting series of images and whether your into drugs or not, this series of images is bound to interest you in some way.