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45 Self-Portraits on 45 Different Drugs

An extreme artist's opus of drug-fueled drawings goes viral.

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Saunders' self-portrait on 'shrooms Photo via

By Adam K. Raymond

08/15/12

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If artist Bryan Lewis Saunders is known for anything, it's making people uncomfortable. He calls his spoken word performances "stand-up tragedy," because the goal is to make the audience cry. But Saunders also draws self-portraits—and these are sure to inspire as much discomfort as anything else he's done. Because when he draws himself he gets high. Last year he put together a collection of 45 self-portraits, each one drawn while on a different drug, and they've gone viral this week after being posted on The Chive. In an interview last year with Dinosaurcity, Saunders said he was inspired to do the project by the residents of a run-down Tennessee building where he was living. For good measure, he provided some reviews of the drugs he used as muses. Xanax came out well: "It made me feel real at peace with life and with the trauma, and it also made me a real social dynamo!" On the other end of the spectrum was PCP: "Any drugs that detach your mind from your body I don't care for too much," he said. As far as which drug most enhanced his artistic abilities, that'll be left to you. But psilocybin mushrooms are definitely the frontrunner.

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