The Endlessly Reconstructing Auto-Autopsy
Bryan Lewis Saunders

I have always been fascinated with art and artists. Especially artists who throw themselves wholly into their creations, so that you almost can’t tell where the art ends and their lives begin. Bryan Lewis Saunders is one such artist, a person whose being is fully consumed by his art, to the point that he has become his most prolific subject. Saunders has created more than 8,000 8 1/2″ x 11″ self-portraits – he has been doing one each day since March 30th, 1995 – and they have been dubbed “The Endlessly Reconstructing Auto-Autopsy.” That means that his experience, emotions and energy from each of the days he has lived over the past 17 years is immortalized on a page of one of his hardbound sketchbooks. Through his self-portraits, one can see the true human experience, because despite our best intentions, we all live subjectively. He has curated collections of the self-portraits so that they can be viewed by theme, and of course, he has a collection of “under the influence” images of himself, tripping on everything from Morphine IVs at the hospital to nature’s fungal gifts to the designer drug of choice today, bath salts. The images from this collection truly reflect the place your mind goes when it’s being expanded/damaged/poisoned by chemicals both natural and manufactured. Looking through these definitely reminds me why I mostly chose the hippie route in my drug selection. After the jump, check out a gallery of his “Drugs” self-portraits (hover over the image thumbnail to see his drug of choice), and make sure to check out his other collections on his site, which include “Pain,” “Love” and “Anxiety.”

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The Author



Meghan MacRae grew up in Vancouver, Canada, but spent many years living in the remote woods. Living in the shadow of grizzly bears, cougars and the other predators of the wilderness taught her about the dark side of nature, and taught her to accept her place in nature's order as their prey. She is co-founder of CVLT Nation webzine and clothing.