Impressionist paintings of absinthe drinkers and Woodstock-era psychedelic posters cement the strong historical relationship between the visual arts and drug culture. Now, discover, what substances like GHB, MDMA, Crystal Meth and LSD look like!
Schönfeld’s collection of images document all manner of mind-altering substances from nightclub favorites like ecstasy and MDMA to the more sedate prescriptions you might find in your grandmother’s medicine cabinet.
The simple, repetitive compositions allow viewers to compare the drugs in an almost clinical fashion—and to discover uncomfortable similarities between seemingly disparate drugs.
For instance, speed and caffeine share a nearly identical spiky, abrasive appearance that might lead some to reconsider just how healthy their relationship with cappuccinos really is.
This is how she made her photos:
Each of the wall-sized images started with a single piece of film exposed to a dark, neutral background. As the film was developing she put a single drop of the drug, diluted in water or alcohol, onto the negative, which kickstarted a chemical reaction between the emulsion and illicit substance, leading to an explosion of colors and shapes.
Her psychedelic photography gives all these substances—which are nowadays pills, powders, liquids—a face, however abstract and distant it might be.
These illicit drug photographs represent a glimpse into the artful side of addiction.
And now the perverse question. Based on these photographs, which one would you like to try?
For more amazing pictures, look at this gallery!