Throughout history and particularly in the last century, artists have used less-than-legal substances as inspiration in their creative ventures and explorations, and have even gone so far as to pursue said creative activities under the influence of said less-than-legal substances. But it’s a rarity when an artist actually uses her or his illegal past-times to make the art itself.
Enter Cliff Maynard, a 37-year-old Pittsburgh native, whose website, Chronic Art, and Myspace page detail his use of spent marijuana roaches to painstakingly piece together various portraits of rappers, recreations of the old masters, and Jesus (pictured). Maynard collects thousands of the little buggers (the website does not detail exactly how, cough, ahem, cough) and then, using an Exacto knife, carefully (an 8×10 inch piece takes up to 70 plus hours) cuts out tiny little “puzzle pieces” to be fit together like, well, a mosaic.
Maynard explains on his website:
I was studying mosaics in school. I just remember sort of making this connection in my head between the tiles and roach papers.
Right. Of course. So did we. Maynard has already created original artwork for Canabis Culture Magazine and is currently working on the advertising posters for 2009 Seattle Hempfest. You can get your own copy of a signed limited print for about 80 smackers, but the originals, according to Maynard, are going for around anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000. So, like, does that include cost of, um, materials?