A picture is worth a thousand words, and a self-portrait might be worth even more – but what if it’s a self-portrait on drugs? Drugs not only change a person’s perception of the world around them, but they also change their perceptions about themselves. Some even believe that drugs open up the mind and boost creativity. Curious about these chemical effects, artist Bryan Lewis Saunders decided to embark on his own substance-fueled journey.
Saunders created self-portraits as visual representations of drug use. Each image shows how he felt under the influence of different drugs. These substances ranged from perfectly legal nicotine gum and doctor-prescribed benzodiazepines to crystal meth and bath salts. His portraits attempt to capture what users see, and give the viewer a glimpse at what it feels like to take different drugs.
The overall impact is both lovely and chilling; clearly painting self-portraits on drugs isn’t for the faint of heart. Saunders himself had to adjust his project after he began suffering the effects of taking one too many doses.