By Lon Levin
Artwork and getting high seem to go hand in hand. The Dylan poster featured is a creation of Milton Glaser and it was a pivotal piece of artwork in the 60’s and heralded the inception of psychedelic artwork. Young artists and students experimented with drugs as a way to enhance their work and dig deeper into their minds. The imagery that ensued was stoney, freaky and ‘out-a-sight’ as the sayings go. Some truly original work was created and artists like Peter Maxx, Alan Aldridge and John Van Hammersveld caught the public’s attention.
As the years passed drug induced artwork fell out of favor because of toll it took on the users. Drug overdoses, scrambled heads, memory loss and seizures are just a few of the consequences of prolific drug use. But the art remains and has now seen a resurgence. While some artists may still use marijuana to inspire them and let loose some have now turned to other ways to dig deep like meditation, working out and social networking. By and large I think the drug abuse in the art community has decreased quite a bit and the work is progressing to higher and higher levels, perhaps more driven by organic inspiration (though no judgement here).