Cocaine, hashish, valium, absinthe, glue, marijuana, butane honey oil, mushrooms, tarazone, abilify, DMT… the list seems endless. Bryan Lewis Sanders took all kinds of drugs and, under their kaleidoscopic effect, made a different self portrait for each one. No artist inflicted so much pain to himself since Van Gogh cut his left ear off, wrapped on a piece of newspaper and handed it to a prostitute named Rachel, asking to take good care of it. Van Gogh did it in 1888. Bryan Lewis Saunders started in 1995, making a self portrait a day. He’s got 8000 of them, so far, neatly catalogued in 8 1/2″ x 11″ hardbound books; the work in progress is far from being completed, being one of a lifetime, but he looks to be in no hurry. Saunders is a modern artist. Modern in every regard, because he breaks the frustrating absence of rules of contemporary expression through an extreme operation of self surgery or, to use the words of David Larcher, an “Endelessly reconstructing Auto-Autopsy”. Saunders is modern for replacing experience with experiments. Modern in his frantic void and intentional lack of technique. He likes to put the world inside himself rather than representing the flighty appearance of reality. His force is centripetal, sucking the world inside the tornado’s eye of his stomach. In his portraits you can get a glimpse of Kentridge, Basquiat, Koons, Picasso, Matisse, but also graphic artists like Heine and Glaser, or even a cartoonist like Disney. As an artist with a multiple self, he deserves more than just one place in our gallery. We are happy to welcome him to Extraordinart.


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