Series of drawings from man on LSD

posted by Jason Kottke Jan 08, 2004

Series of drawings from man on LSD. done in the 50s as part of a US gov't study on the effects of drugs

Reader comments

pthreeJan 08, 2004 at 1:45PM

i always wanted to take a hallucinogen to see what happens to my drawings, but i've been slightly afraid.

BryceJan 08, 2004 at 5:01PM

I would be afraid if I took acid it would permanently fuck up the way I draw. But maybe that would be beneficial.

ShawnJan 09, 2004 at 12:08PM

I took pantloads of LSD as a teenager and while my drawings tended to not "work out so well" while was "frying" as we called it back then I don't believe I've suffered any long term negative effects. Personally I wouldn't recommend LSD to anyone at this stage of my life. I would however take a look at what drugs do to spiders.

Andrew BoardmanJan 09, 2004 at 1:04PM

Jason, I really question the authenticity of the images here within the context of an LSD "study." All of these drawings appear very professional (even at the most "agitated" stage) and the patient has an extremely deft hand throughout. It's not impossible that these are from some kind of human (perhaps self-) experimentation, but I'm sure it's just a cool art project. Of course, you could be joshin' on us, and I failed to get it.

LincolnJan 09, 2004 at 3:01PM

those are picasso rip offs! Or else it shows you what genius he was.

ChicagoTex!Jan 10, 2004 at 2:48PM

Re: Andrew

I had the same thought--they look very well done regardless of what he was on. I thought the fact that he was able to stay on the page so easily and keep the strokes at much the same pressure was a little suspicious. His last comment in particular bothers me, which leads me to ask myself is he was really trying to draw something as normal as the first and last pictures while he was doing the ones in between. Anyway.

LarryJan 10, 2004 at 11:58PM

Well I don't know if this is the real deal... however my father, (to whom i don't talk anymore), had a story about being in exactly such a study. He was a college art professor most of his professional life, and I never even saw him drink the entire time i knew him. It would be interesting if the linked to site had any corroborating evidence.

PhilipJan 11, 2004 at 8:14AM

Rather predictable don't you think...

donald tettoJan 11, 2004 at 10:06PM

I agree with Andrew and ChicagoTex -- questionable at best. What interests me most about it is that the drawings don't reflect any pattern, not even a move toward more abstract or more sloppy. If there is any back-up to this, I wonder why it isn't available; given the nature of the anecdotes, it doesn't seem very scientific at all. (Most mystifying, of course, is how much beard growth the portrait subject experienced in eight hours!) Reminds me, though, of an article I read not to long ago (here?) of some brain gizmo (magnets?) that produced the exact opposite effect (savant for a day?)

pthreeJan 13, 2004 at 2:35PM

D. Tetto, thank you! That article was very interesting.

This thread is closed to new comments. Thanks to everyone who responded.