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.”