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Bryan Lewis Saunders Creates Self-Portraits On Different Drugs

Psilocybin mushrooms

Psilocybin mushrooms

Absinthe

Absinthe

Abilify

Abilify

Adderall

Adderall

In 1995, artist Bryan Lewis Saunders decided to create a unique self-portrait every day for the rest of his life. In 2001 he committed to taking a different drug or intoxicant every day before making his daily portrait, calling this sub-series “Under the Influence.” From absinthe and cocaine to cough syrup and computer duster he sniffed, swallowed and smoked his way through interesting art and into mild, but reversible, brain damage.

Though these are only a small fraction of the collection of over 8,600 self-portraits, they have received the most attention, resurfacing in the media over and over throughout the years. Saunders has mixed feelings about this, telling Fast Company:

“To be honest I’m not proud to be on any drugs in any pictures. I think drugs make me look really ugly. And I’m really a six trick pony, but the world only likes one of my tricks. Each year 500,000 kids around the world discover drugs and so the virus never dies.”

The portraits themselves are fascinating. Is it possible that one day of a psychotropic medicine would have such a clear effect? Are some of these images influenced by Saunders perception of the drug, and not the actual effect of the drug itself? Does it even matter?

“For hundreds of years, artists have been putting themselves into representations of the world around them. I am doing the exact opposite. I put the world around me into representations of myself as I find this more true to my Central Nervous System.”

This is art, not a science experiment. If the idea of the drugs has more of an effect on the art than the drugs themselves, that’s Saunders’ artistic prerogative. The work is provocative and often more than a little bit haunting. The brain spilling Saunders on Abilify and the dark, isolated, limbless Saunders on Nitrous Oxide/Valium represent disturbing and disturbed states of mind. Though he no longer takes drugs in the pursuit of art, the self-portrait series continues, and continues to fascinate.

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Video Watch: Jason Mitcham’s Animation Created By Thousands Of Slight Alterations On A Single Painting

Jason Mitcham paints scenes from everyday America, and for The Avett Brothers’ new music video, he was commissioned to use his paintings to tell the story of an American city. For the video, Jason made an animation by painting each “frame” over one another on the same canvas thousands of times over. I love it because you get to see the painting process in a really unique way–normally we only get a finished product, but in the video we get to see strokes that make something and are then covered, erased, and made into another image ad infinitum. Half of the pleasure of this video is watching the ghosted images from previous frames. It works in a more figurative way too, in that the trace images represent the lingering of history in the present.  Check out the video after the jump!

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Artist Creates Soundtracks By Crushing Peoples Personal Belongings

Dmitry Morozov Dmitry Morozov  Dmitry Morozov

This new interactive installation Oil by Moscow media-artist, musician and engineer of ‘strange-sounding mechanisms’ ::vtol:: (Dmitry Morozov) is an exciting opportunity for participants to create something new and original from destroying used personal objects. Inviting people to use whatever object they are carrying at the time (headphones, sunglasses, keys, cosmetics), he places them underneath a hydraulic press and proceeds to crush them into something unrecognizable. He records what happens next with a microphone mounted closely to the hydraulic presses. The sound from the act of destruction is turned into a 20 minute record and presented to the participant to take away with them.

The project is intended to provoke visitors into spontaneously ridding themselves of material consumer objects for the sake of creating their own individual work of art via deprivation, divestment and destruction. Sound has been taken as the chief medium here with good reason, since sound art is perhaps the least material and most abstract of all genres in art. The technological aesthetic involved constitutes an ironic attempt to make the process of art production into a technological process, but the result, unlike that of mass production, demonstrates a contrary phenomenon – this is a work involving programming and code in the context of generative art, with the potential to broaden the range of instruments at art’s disposal. (Source)

You can also hear one of the 1574 tracks recorded during exhibition here. And see more innovative work from :vtol::, including different instruments here.

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Will Cotton Paints Katy Perry For New Exhibit at Mary Boone Gallery

Will Cotton’s new show at Mary Boone brings together the artists signature imagery of cotton candy and frosting with pop singer Katy Perry. This seems like nothing more than a cheap gimmick to sell a few paintings but I’m sure Mr.Cotton isn’t losing much sleep over my opinions of his hugely successful career. I wish that there was a moment of tension in these works or that they weren’t just pretty paintings of pretty things but for me the work falls flat. Each masterfully painted work looks like another precious thing to hang over your designer couch, and that’s not a good thing. Read the below press release and see additional images from Cotton’s Katy Perry paintings and decide for yourself. Is this interesting art or just extravagant illustrations of a mediocre pop star that will soon fade away?

“Conjuring his signature land of plentiful sweets, for the touchstone of this group of new works the Artist depicts Katy Perry (Cotton served as Artistic Director for her 2010 California Gurls music video) as the reluctant queen of an imagined Utopia. In Crown, she stands before a palisade of pastel cakes, holding the headpiece as if wary of its obligations and consequences, realizing that a reign of opulence and profusion will inevitably conclude in decline and decay.

Cotton evokes the memory of a time before this awareness in Candy Forest, an idyllic landscape that merits bright color but is instead painted in the monochromatic palette of an old sepia photograph. Yet even in that distant past this Utopia harbored an underside – a truth underscored in the paintings Landfill and Trash Pile. Here, doughnuts, pastry, and tarts are nothing but layers in a garbage heap, their allure diminished in a realm of infinite riches.”

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CLICK TO COLLECT- AFFORDABLE ARTIST ORIGINALS FOR YOUR WALLS!

Raul Gonzalez, Don’t look back, Burro, 2011
9.5″ x 13.5″, Acrylic, Pen on Coffee Stained paper

Eight months ago I bought my first house and renovated it, which meant my art collection was packed up in boxes and bubble wrap not to be seen for another 5 months. In the mean time, staring at the boring white walls in my house was literally driving me up a wall. And the second the dust settled, before even moving in the furniture, I installed every piece of art I owned in the new space. The art transformed the whole house, what felt soulless and sterile before was now filled with the chatter of all the different works of art telling their individual stories.

That got me to thinking about how important art is in making a house a home, and how everyone should be able to collect it. That’s how the the CLICK TO COLLECT project was born. We wanted to give everyone a chance to collect our favorite artists and keep the prices to $500 or less…. Art Within Reach, if you will, ahem. Each week this month we will offer you 5-10 original hand-made works priced $500 or below through our CLICK TO COLLECT project. It’s our hope that by making these original works available at these prices, we’re helping our readers start or grow their very own collection that they will enjoy and treasure for years to come.

 

Our first artist to take part in CLICK TO COLLECT is Raul Gonzalez, whose work was first featured in our Beautiful/Decay: Future Perfect book. Learn more about Raul’s art see his collection of available work after the jump.

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Sarah Doyle

Sarah Doyle

I love you, Sarah Doyle. I love your obsession with celebrity, your ability to draw/paint/whatever on mirrors, your perfect way in attacking myspace “talk”…. and of course, your affinity with the king, Michael Jackson. Sarah Doyle makes art from what us girls draw in class instead of take notes, but times infinity. Keep it up.

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Iain McKell’s Photographs Of Modern Day Gypsies

Iain McKell- Photography

Iain McKell- Photography

Iain McKell- Photography

Iain McKell, a renowned fashion and social documentary photographer, has compiled a series of compelling images, The New Gypsies, which depicts both the physical and emotional life of a modern traveler community living in the outskirts of a technology-driven society. McKell creates surreal images that almost treat his subjects as fictional characters, yet we find that there is an undeniable hint of warmness, liveliness and honesty that instantly creates a strong bond between viewer and subject.

The British horse-drawn travelers whom sport decorated caravans, colorful clothing, and share a desire for freedom from the trappings of contemporary life, served the artist as more than just an artistic project; he calls the 10-year study “a personal journey.”

With these photographs, McKell intends to show a way of living that is both colorful and meaningful- something that lacks in contemporary living. He states that the tribe draws from the past and combines with the future, therefore “creating a set of progressive new ideas and values that are not based on materialism […] and are not chained by the stress and complications of our modern existence.”

In 2011, the photographer published a book of the series by the name of The New Gypsies by Ian McKell, it includes essays by Val Williams and Ezmeralda Sang. (via Huffpost Arts & Culture)

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Andrei D. Robu’s A typoholic

Andrei D. Robu’s design portfolio is filled to the brim with amazing typography. What’s impressive about his work is how easily he works in a wide variety of styles shifting from hand drawn cursive fonts inspired by tattoo art to experimental digital typefaces with ease.

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