Bryan Lewis Saunders is an artist from Virginia who likes to explore the outer limits of consciousness, and reports his findings using art (specifically self-portraits) as the medium of communication.




To date, he’s completed over 9,930 self-portraits – but the most interesting by far are the ones he has produced while under the influence of mind-altering drugs.

According to Alternet.com:

In 2012 Saunders told Wired magazine he’d decided to do a self-portrait every day for the rest of his life so that he “could die knowing that I tried to experience as much as possible when I was alive.”

“All day every day, images and feelings of the world come into me and it’s inescapable,” he wrote to Wired. “So I thought if I did a self-portrait every day for the rest of my life, with no rules, the world and I could be more linked to my nervous system.”

On his website, in an explanation of the “Drugs” portraits, Saunders writes:

“After experiencing drastic changes in my environment, I looked for other experiences that might profoundly affect my perception of self.”

He devised an experiment in which every day he took a different drug and drew himself under the influence.

“Within weeks I became lethargic and suffered mild brain damage. I am still conducting this experiment but over greater lapses of time. I only take drugs that are given to me.”

Check out 30 of Saunders artistic altered states below, and to see even more of his work click here.

 

"This, then, is the ultimate paradox of thought: to want to discover something that thought itself cannot think."- Soren Kierkegaard

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