” It could be argued,” states Joe Roberts, “that the entire world is on one drug or another. I imply, if a plant or a mushroom is a drug it should also be thought about that individuals are high on all sorts of things– power, technology, caffeine, alcohol.”

The San Francisco-based artist and psychonaut (somebody who uses modified states induced by meditation, drugs, ritual, possibly even martial arts to acquire existential insights and spiritual experiences) makes art that riffs on his experiences taking LSD, DMT, and psilocybin (AKA magic mushrooms), and typically works while cigarette smoking weed. “What distinction does any of it make as long as you’re not harming anyone else?” he argues. “There’s quite a bit of false information and fear around psychedelics. People like to put things in boxes and identify them. Psychedelics make that seem silly.”

In the foreword to Roberts’ brand-new book of paintings and drawings, We Consumed the Acid, fellow psychonaut Hamilton Morris says there’s an excellent desire among those who have actually taken psychedelics to communicate what they experience. Perhaps art can help with that, he recommends. And definitely looking into Joe Roberts’ art does immerse one in a drug-fuelled world. In one scrawled image, Mickey Mouse in a sorcerer’s hat confronts a field of talking mushrooms. “I have actually been looking 4 U men,” states Mickey’s speech bubble. One of the mushrooms responds “What took you so long?” and another includes “Consume us.” In another illustration, loved-up, smiling frogs in jester’s hats lick each other to open those affective websites– to switch on, tune in and, you ‘d believe, hop out.

'Psychedelics were an important part of my life, they changed the way I think' ... Joe Roberts.

Pinterest’ Psychedelics were an important part of my life, they altered the method I think’ … Joe Roberts. Photo: Dennis McGrath Mickey Mouse is a repeating motif in Roberts’ work– the artist’s forecast of himself into his art. As his Mickey avatar, Roberts envisions himself as” not yet a master sorcerer, but committed to the mission to discover the divine”. Mickey is not the only character in Roberts’ druggie menagerie: he also imagines himself as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.” With my friends I can separate from society, fight evil and end up being disciplined

in the art of mind control,” he describes. His art likewise riffs on the Wu-Tang Clan– he sees the hip-hop attire as emblems of martial arts discipline and philosophical friendship. Roberts’ art brims with such pop-culture referrals, also late-80 and early-90s brands (Air Jordans get duplicated walk-ons ). Comics, sweets, peace signs, Freddy Krueger, Scream masks, the 1979 movie Alien and HR Giger( himself a psychedelics user and friend of psychologist and LSD advocate Timothy Leary) all figure. One critic has actually argued that all the Mickey Mouses and other repeating figures in Roberts’ art are protective guardians accompanying him on his trips into the unknown. Vision of light ... an illustration from We Consumed the Acid by Joe Roberts.< a class=" rounded-icon block-share __ item block-share __ product– facebook js-blockshare-link

Vision of light ... an illustration from We Ate the Acid by Joe Roberts.


Pinterest Brilliant visions … an illustration from We Ate the Acid by Joe Roberts. But the pop-culture referrals scarcely exhaust the&artistic ones. He paints rich jungly landscapes that remember Henri Rousseau, city scenes that seem to riff on Edward Hopper, killer

whales sporting

in the Pacific surf, faux-naively rendered squirrels and UFOs.

Is it possible to interact an hallucinogenic experience through art?” I do not know,” responds Roberts.” Possibly the most important thing is to inspire someone to see on their own what the psychedelic experience is. I think they are incredible tools or instructors that we have access to, and they need to be used. And like any tool, they need to be treated with regard and used with care.” Graffiti tributes to hip-hop heroes– in pictures Read more Roberts considers this world as a place where humans are, as it were, in Plato’s cave

, habituated to a subjective experience that they deludedly

consider truth. He believes his drug experiences have freed him from that, and wants to open the doors of understanding for others too.” My experimentation with psychedelics was a very important part of my life, I

feel like it moved the trajectory of my life– changed the way I think. The art included in We Consumed the Acid was all made during this period of experimentation and I think was my way of unloading and processing these experiences.” His paintings made me think of the anti-psychiatrist RD Laing, who eulogised LSD and offered it, under carefully managed circumstances, to his patients. Laing composed that hallucinogenic drug-taking and even psychosis were reasonable responses to the higher madness of the world. Psychosis was, he wrote,” a psychedelic voyage of discovery in which the boundaries of understanding were widened,&and awareness expanded.” Illustrations from We Consumed The Acid by Joe Roberts, released by Anthology Editions< a class=" rounded-icon block-share __ product block-share __ item– facebook js-blockshare-link" href=" https://www.facebook.com/dialog/share?app_id=180444840287&href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theguardian.com%2Fartanddesign%2F2018%2Fdec%2F04%2Fartist-joe-roberts-interview%3FCMP%3Dshare_btn_fb%26page%3Dwith%3Aimg-4%23img-4&picture=https%3A%2F%2Fmedia.guim.co.uk%2F502a1dca6497da6ff34f6d54a51f79aade2dddf1%2F79_311_1643_1165%2F1643.jpg" target=" _ blank


Twitter Pinterest Picture: © Joe Roberts What does Roberts think about that?” I concur the world seems crazy however that is only when I try to break it down and understand it. If I simply let it be, everything seems like it’s doing precisely what it’s expected to. Even with all the dreadful things happening there is always something next. Something unanticipated. A twist and a turn. “Roberts was born in Madison, Wisconsin, in 1976. He got into making art early. “We’re all introduced to art at the same time, when we’re small children,” he says.” I simply stuck with it and made it a part of my daily life, even if it’s simply doodling on a scrap of paper.”

His grandpa was especially inspiring.” [He made] sculptures from discovered things, various printing approaches, drawings, collages, paintings– practically whatever. He truly delighted in making things and experimenting with new mediums and he didn’t care about impressing anyone. Socializing with him was fun.”

Spaced invaders ... an illustration from We Ate The Acid by Joe Roberts

Pinterest Spaced intruders … an illustration from We Ate The Acid by Joe Roberts Picture: © Joe Roberts left Wisconsin to train formally at San Francisco’s Art Institute, but yields that while there he” primarily learnt more about drugs”. At the time, he was into skating and graffiti art.” Skateboarding is very important to me since it is fun. It’s unusual that it is a lot enjoyable because it is type of difficult. It makes me happy. The majority of

my pals

in life have been linked to me through skateboarding somehow.” And graffiti art?” I socialized with a bunch of

graffiti writers but I similar to the exploring part of it. Being out all night and climbing on structures. I never ever got the ‘writing your name on things ‘part of tagging. I most likely just did that one or two times, primarily I would just go with my buddies and be a lookout. Perhaps draw a Ninja Turtle type of sloppy at the end of the night and feel that rush but I never ever took it that seriously.” He understood, however, of San Franciscan artists such as Chris Johanson, who at first drew cartoons on lampposts and toilet walls using black Sharpies before releasing a skateboarding and art zine called Karmaboarder in the late 80s. Roberts mentions Johanson as a crucial influence, together with Mike Kelley, the late American artist whose work involved discovered things, fabric banners, illustrations,< a href=" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assemblage_

( art)” class= “u-underline” > assemblage, collage, performance and video. Pinterest Picture: © Joe Roberts Roberts’ art has been compared to that of Jean-Michel Basquiat and Joseph Cornell. Like Basquiat, he’s been billed as an outsider artist who crossed from street graffiti into the gallery. A lot of the&pictures in We Consumed the Acid riff on the very first age of San Franciscan trippy art in the 1960s and 70s, with their swirling patterns and surprise messages. They remember the

art created by San Francisco hippies such as Stanley Mouse, Rick Griffin and Alton Kelley who made posters for psychedelic musicians such as the Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix and Big Sibling and the Holding Company. Roberts ‘work particularly reminds

me of artist Bill Walker’s sleeve for the Grateful Dead’s 1968 album Anthem of the Sun, which depicts the members of the band’s faces on a multi-headed fire-breathing entity, more than likely a Hindu deity. Like that image, much of Roberts’ art includes gaudy, even sometimes DayGlo, geometric patterns and spinning fractals that, I discover, seem to surround LSD users as the drug starts. Facebook Twitter Pinterest Photograph: © Joe Roberts New York Times art critic Ken Johnson, author of Are You Experienced? How Psychedelic Consciousness Changed Modern Art, argues that Roberts’ work is part of a resurgent psychedelic motion:” This

whole psychedelic thing is still

part of our culture. It’s not over. “Johnson’s thesis is that, considering that the mass intake of LSD started in the mid 1960s, hallucinogens have actually changed the minds of many individuals that much modern art has actually concerned conform with what one critic called the “psychedelic paradigm “. If so, then it’s little marvel Roberts’ work has actually become so marketable. His bound and stitched book LSD Worldpeace– which includes 142 reproductions of his pieces , collages and dioramas– is currently offered out, making it

a collector’s item. Earlier this year he launched a streetwear range with the same title. It works as a psychedelic history lesson. There’s a Leary baseball cap, a Hofmann T-shirt( after Albert Hofmann, the Swiss researcher who first synthesised LSD in 1938) and a Garcia T-shirt( after Jerry, the creator of the Grateful Dead whom younger readers may referred to as an ice cream flavour but whom Deadheads revere for opening doors of understanding through the band’s psychedelic music). He’s succeeding from that psychedelic paradigm, if it exists.” It’s odd to offer art,” Roberts concludes,” However I feel lucky that people are interested adequate to spend money on some shit I made smoking cigarettes weed. “We Ate the Acid by Joe Roberts is released by Anthology Editions and available for purchase here. Subjects< a class=" submeta __ link "href=" https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign"

> Art and design Drugs< a class=" submeta __ link" href=

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