Breaking Away from Psychedelic Art
mood: shopping mood
music: Sundo- imago; Track 09 of whatever album; Exodus- Bob Marley
Somewhere between Olympus and the ninth circle of hell is the vantage point of using artificial or unnatural substances to enhance one’s creativity. Everyone knows that substances like stimulants, depressants, and hallucinogens when used without prescription can be extremely damaging that it had been the cause of death of some artistic and risky personalities like Jim Morrison.
Since time immemorial, people have been using illegal drugs to break away from their inhibitions and make love in an unrestrained fashion beyond anything one could have imagined at the greatest Ibiza since the fall of the Roman Empire. For some people, the drug of choice is Ecstasy or more common to people as “E”. This old school drug has varied and unpredictable effects on people. It can turn a clubber into a horny devil, a dazed wallflower, a permanent vegetable or a dance machine. Risky to pop, it may seem, but clubbers still slobber for it.
The effects mentioned are just few of the dangerous states a user would have to face. But what about if by consuming a certain kind of hallucinogenic you experience a certain kind of artistic and creative imagery?
Pierre Medel, 25-year-old, when stoned has been creating on a human body canvass the visual effects of hallucinogenic drugs.
“I was more creative when stoned. It’s like there were so many beautiful kaleidoscopes running in my mind that I had to capture it and communicate its beauty through my own artistic way,” Pierre said when asked about the effects of a chemical drug on him.
A very important brilliance of Pierre’s art lies in his success in bringing back images from that other world and capturing them so that they can be shared, and communicated to others. Typically, a person who is under the influence of drug sees something, anything, he or she had seen all his or her life, in an entirely new way. Something Pierre cannot see if he’s sober.
“Without drugs, my art felt bland and lifeless because it is devoid of any personal touch or personal experience. No matter how people say it’s beautiful, it’s still lifeless for me. I cannot afford to be lifeless because I have to feel every emotion that is there to feel,” Pierre said.
For Pierre, the psychedelic experience was bound up in vibration of color. According to one of Pierre’s colleagues, no other tattoo designer used color with such electric results as Pierre, and since this distortion and "fighting" of color was one of the most powerful aspects of psychedelic experience of Pierre, it may well be that for this alone Pierre captured the physical, visual experience of being "stoned" better than anyone else just being a dazed wallflower or a dance machine.
Pierre started being fascinated with tattoo design when, out of devotion to his own spirituality, he got his very first tattoo.
“It started when this tattoo designer from Thailand, who became my good friend, made my very own rosary tattoo. He found out that I am an artist like him and asked me to show him some of my art. He liked my design and the concept of what I was doing before so he told me to try tattoo design. At first, I was skeptical about the idea but since it wasn’t really any different from the art I usually do, I eventually agreed,” Pierre said.
Most of Pierre’s designs are about the unrelenting barrage of muted colors which arose in his own internal psychedelic, mystical experience.
“Some of my styles revolve around the beauty of creation. I like doing religious designs with colors coming from my own experience,” he said.
It is a paradox that a person with strong religious inclinations can also be a drug abuser. Just like how the church condemns those who drink and smoke and live immoral lives while us churchgoers engage in gluttony, selfishness, and bigotry. For many, there is a legitimate medical reason why weight gain is a constant struggle. But shouldn’t we also keep an open mind to the possibility that someone’s addiction to nicotine might be similarly genetically predisposed? And most importantly, the matter at hand, that someone’s weakness for drugs can be possibly related to a brain chemistry imbalance that exacerbates the problem? It’s just amazing how “sin-free” society casts their stones to those who are sinful.
Quitting The Stoned Life
“I know that what I’m doing is immoral and that no matter what I say I cannot justify myself. I am in the process of training myself how to quit it. Just like what I did before when I was really addicted to weed that I had to smoke up each day of my waking life. I trained myself to quit it, I haven’t successfully mastered the art of quitting but it’s an improvement for me that now, I only smoke up whenever there’s an occasion,” Pierre said.
Pierre’s dad being a prominent person in his own field couldn’t let Pierre enter a rehabilitation center. Instead, Pierre promised his father that he himself will escape his own mess. And that if after a year, there’s no improvement, Pierre will surrender himself to rehab.
“I know Jesus will help me to fully quit this thing I am going through. I have faith. I have been closer to him ever since I heeded his help,” Pierre said.
Jesus had little patience with those who failed to recognize their true spiritual symptoms. But he was always willing to see the spiritually ill. In truth drugs can often trash one’s entire life but for better or worse out of Pierre’s cauldron of naiveté and confusion came brilliant art of often spiritual crystal clarity.
“Everyone loves my art of embracing torsos whose heads are replaced by clasped hands. Everybody adores my kind of art that some liberal people come to me asking to treat their body as an empty canvass ready for some serious and enlightening painting. They come to me with no tattoo design in mind, I ask them a few questions about themselves and then I do my thing. But now that I am really in the process of quitting, I just try to incorporate my past stoned memories to my art so I won’t have to hit as frequent anymore, ” Pierre said.
This essay not only goes to show how drugs, art, and spirituality are intertwined but also how one person realized that his addiction should end without being whisked away by an intervening party, Deux ex Machina, to an undisclosed location, in an orange-like facility comparable to a hospital meant for deranged individuals.
“I cannot picture myself lying in my own deathbed at a rehabilitation center I cannot escape. I know I will have to stop sooner because these substances are already taking its toll on me. I am still too young to die, I still want to finish my studies and have my own family someday,” Pierre said.
Pierre, coming from an affluent family, doesn’t realize the treasure trove of being a Medel. Anyone less privileged would be willing to switch positions with Pierre and be a dutiful son to Mr. Medel just like Pierre’s own younger brother who is flying to Amsterdam December of this year to further continue his architectural studies.
For some people, Pierre is a great deal of abuseful words. But Pierre being human through and through faced his hell. He took pleasure in orgasmic rides, and a stoned life but was awakened by cyclical nothingness. In the process, he lost people he thought would be there for him during his sober cry. Now that Pierre had stopped responding to the happy pill and other chemical drugs, he now concentrates on finding his way in the art of sobriety though his inspirational elements of his own gentle version of acid state still remains. Even though Pierre is on his way into making sobriety the new drug of choice, he shouldn’t revel on just breathing life into his own corpse but instead, he has to make up for all the best times he took for granted. He cannot just simply deal with whatever lay along his path. He has to make the most of his time dealing with self-improvement which hopefully will lead to his own success and growth as person. Someday, when Pierre had done all these, looking back will not bring him remorse but a deep ironic sense of gratitude because he almost felt every emotion that is there to feel.