The relationship between drugs and art is pretty straightforward: Artists put drugs inside their bodies and then expel them through their fingers in the form of strange paintings, statues, music etc. That's how the art/drug relationship usually goes, but there's another, arguably better way: Use the actual drugs to create the actual art. That way, you can write off drugs as a work expense! For instance...

An Artificial Intelligence Programmed To Buy Drugs

6 Works Of Art Made Possible By An Absurd Amount Of Drugs
!Mediengruppe Bitnik

Created by Swiss art collective and spell-check nightmare !Mediengruppe Bitnik, Random Darknet Shopper is a software program installed on a laptop. The program's sole purpose is to shop on the Darknet, the sketchy parking lot below the information superhighway where drugs are sold. RDS is given a relatively tight budget of $100 in Bitcoins per week, which it can spend on whatever it chooses. In 2014, the program decided to throw a party and bought a baggie full of ecstasy pills, which, as per protocol, were shipped to the gallery.


"No, really, officer. The laptop bought all these drugs without my knowled- I'll go quietly ..."

The laptop and pills were confiscated by Swiss police after authorities tracked the purchase from Agora, a black-market e-commerce site which has since been shut down. As it turns out, it's pretty difficult to charge a randomized computer program with a crime. Which is unfortunate because we're sure any inmate would literally kill for the chance to have a laptop as their cellmate.

!Mediengruppe Bitnik

"No, really, warden. The laptop bought the rock hammer and Rita Hayworth poster without my knowled- I'll go to solitary quietly ..."

The random nature of the program kept the artists from being prosecuted, and the robot was returned to its owners in 2015 (minus the ecstasy, which was destroyed). After a switch to AlphaBay Market as its shop of choice, the Random Darknet Shopper's first purchase was a hilariously-appropriate-for-an-ecstasy-dealer knockoff Lacoste polo shirt. We imagine it will wear it with the collar popped.

In 1992, Rob Pruitt installed black-power posters and soul music records on the walls of a prestigious NY gallery, said it was a commentary on African-Americans and marketing, and waited for impressionable young graduate students to bring him their panties. Instead, he was called a racist and asked to never art again. Six years later, he weaseled his way back into the good graces of the creative community by offering them a 50-foot-long line of coke, which he was smart enough to (barely) disguise as art.

6 Works Of Art Made Possible By An Absurd Amount Of Drugs
Rob Pruitt

"It's a commentary on how much I love cocaine."

His 1998 installation, fittingly titled Cocaine Buffet, has become something of a legend in the New York art scene. The cocaine was laid out on a series of narrow mirrors that curved and snaked across the floor of a rented studio space for a span longer than a school bus. It was supposedly part of some larger exhibition, but everybody knew what the coke really was: A peace offering that only a New York artist in the '90s with nothing left to lose could come up with.

6 Works Of Art Made Possible By An Absurd Amount Of Drugs
Art in America Magazine

Yup, that's the face that goes perfectly with the above sentence.

According to Pruitt, the cocaine itself only cost him the usual "few hundred dollars for a temporary thrill," but the memories will last forever. That's right, the "buffet" was actually snorted by "art lovers," and only lasted about 10 minutes. Perhaps due to this goodwill gesture, Pruitt remains a respected member of the art community and maintains a modest but respectable pool of grad-panties (plus he undoubtedly gets asked to cater a lot of events).

Self Portraits While Under The Influence Of ... Everything

6 Works Of Art Made Possible By An Absurd Amount Of Drugs
Bryan Lewis Saunders

Everybody wants to get paid for doing what they love: Peter Paul Rubens loved fat-bottomed girls, so he made a living painting them. As for Bryan Lewis Saunders, well, he loved doing drugs. No, he really loved drugs. Saunders's early art revolved around taking one specific drug, then drawing a self-portrait while under its influence. He would take everything from pot to bath salts, which is why his work ranges from weirdly entrancing ...

6 Works Of Art Made Possible By An Absurd Amount Of Drugs
Bryan Lewis Saunders

Inspiration: Psilocybin mushrooms, possibly Skittles.

To Sloth from Goonies as drawn by a drunken newborn:

oa Wle ai
Bryan Lewis Saunders

"K-kill ... me ..." (Bath salts )

On Adderall, he envisioned himself as a snake, taking the time to carefully draw each and every scale with the utmost precision. Then, while on pot, he drew himself as the Pillsbury Doughboy because ... yeah.

Thick' n Fudgy Pillsbury Deluxe Brownie Mix boelate Rouaeed W Situp Chocotate Double PLNSIZE NETWTISBCTIAD
Bryan Lewis Saunders

This would have been even more appropriate on THC pills.

Giant Mosaics Made Of Actual Ecstasy Pills

6 Works Of Art Made Possible By An Absurd Amount Of Drugs
Chemical X

London artist Chemical X is used to having his shows shut down by the authorities. No, it's not purely due to artistic censorship -- X's medium just so happens to be ecstasy pills. Thousands of which he arranges by color into interesting shapes, then exhibits at legitimate galleries (while occasionally forgetting to tell the owners that the pills are actually illegal narcotics).

6 Works Of Art Made Possible By An Absurd Amount Of Drugs
Chemical X

"Sorry, I don't know where these memory lapses come from."

The artist has his own brand of house-made ecstasy that he creates himself. According to X, he and his team "buy the 'ingredients' wholesale and make the pills in-house at a secret location." In 2014, he made enough of them (about 10,000) to create two huge faux-stained glass windows, because there are many ways to provoke a "religious experience."

6 Works Of Art Made Possible By An Absurd Amount Of Drugs
Chemical X

"Religious ecstasy" is defined here as "so much molly, you're like oh god oh god oh god."

If this is all sounding like the flimsiest front a drug runner ever concocted, well, that may not be entirely wrong. X has made some ominously vague statements about a "contingency plan" for the day authorities get wind of his secret ecstasy lab. For some reason, we suspect he's not talking about switching to Tylenol.

Marina Abramovic has a passion in life, and that is almost losing her life for her passion: art.

6 Works Of Art Made Possible By An Absurd Amount Of Drugs
Music Box Films

To be safe, she added poison glands to this snake.

Back in the '70s, Abramovic was willing to go to great and terrifying lengths for the sake of performance art. She carved a pentagram into her stomach, had her then-partner aim an arrow at her heart, and allowed audiences to cut her with rose thorns and hold a loaded gun to her head, all for the sake of ... something (either art or sadomasochism, we're not sure). During her 1974 performance, Rhythm 2, Abramovic decided to take some antipsychotic drugs to see if "a state of unconsciousness" could feasibly be added to a performance artwork.

If you count lolling around on a chair in front of an audience "performance art," then Abramovic's experiment proved that, yes, it is possible.

6 Works Of Art Made Possible By An Absurd Amount Of Drugs
via Scientific American

Years later, many artists would emulate her by getting stoned and sitting around doing absolutely nothing.

Drug Branding Is An Art Form In Itself

6 Works Of Art Made Possible By An Absurd Amount Of Drugs
Graham MacIndoe

Even if your drug of choice is illegal, somebody is out there trying to figure out how to brand it properly. Take glassine bags, the waxy, papery vessels for powdered heroin. In the '80s and '90s dealers stamped these bags with their own brands like "Dead Medicine," "Kiss of Death," "Flatliner" and "Killa." The morbid names actually seemed to help sales, presumably because of the users' dual love of drugs and irony.

Graham MacIndoe

The same things that keep Taco Bell in business today.

The branded narcotics eventually found their way into legitimate art galleries: A 2010 exhibition in New York featured a mosaic made out of 1,800 glassine heroin bags. Which was either a statement about our society's complicated relationship with drugs, or the result of an artist's hasty excuse when the cops found their stash.

Dallas went to art school. She's the blog editor at Artist Run Website, and spends her spare time complaining about sci-fi novels on her website, HappySpaceNoises.

Zoroastrianism used to be one of the biggest religions in the world, but their idea of heaven had a slight twist on it: To get there you'd have to cross a bridge, sometimes rickety, sometimes wide and sturdy. If you fell off, you'd go to the House of Lies for eternity. Fun! Not terrifying at all! This month, Jack, Dan, and Michael, along with comedians Casey Jane Ellison and Ramin Nazer discuss their favorite afterlife scenarios from movies, sci-fi, and lesser-known religions. Get your tickets here, and we'll see you on the other side of the bridge!

For more reasons why drugs are probably OK for most of society, check out The 5 Greatest Things Ever Accomplished While High and The 5 Most Inspiring Things Ever Accomplished (While Drunk).

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