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7 Brilliant Artists Who Integrate Cannabis-Based Themes in their Work

  • by Alfonso Colasuonno

Introduction

Do you appreciate art? How about cannabis?

As a Goldleaf supporter and reader, it’s likely that you’re passionate about both art and cannabis.

But did you know that several of today’s most enthralling artists have featured cannabis-related themes in their art?

Read on to discover a few of our favorite artists who have turned to cannabis as a source of artistic inspiration.

Fred Tomaselli

Many of Tomaselli’s collages, paintings, and glazings juxtapose psychoactive plants, therapeutic herbs, and prescription medication with images of body parts, flora, and fauna. One of Tomaselli’s best-loved works is Super Plant, which takes his signature psychedelic style in a different direction with a minimalist and Asian-influenced portrayal of the cannabis plant. Along with his many exhibitions, Tomaselli has had his art featured on several album covers, including ones by Phish and The Magnetic Fields.

Super Plant by Fred Tomaselli
© Fred Tomaselli 2021. Image courtesy of the artist and James Cohan, New York.

Melanie Bernier

Bernier’s art is informed by her background in the punk scene and activism, drawing heavily on themes of resistance and questioning mores. Some of Bernier’s most frequent mediums to express her art are fibers, performance, music, and aerobics. Those who appreciate a good smoke will enjoy her Colors 60/40 and Colors 50/50 pieces, which are spliff packs made of vinyl and thread complete with spliffs fashioned out of carved wood, spray paint, and marker.


Ricardo Cortés

Cortés is perhaps best known for It’s Just A Plant, a children’s book that he wrote and illustrated. This groundbreaking book tells the story of a girl who learns about cannabis from her parents, a doctor, a police officer, and a farmer. In addition to It’s Just A Plant, Cortés has illustrated both provocative works, like Adam Mansbach’s Go The Fuck To Sleep, as well as socially relevant ones, like I Don’t Want To Blow You Up!, a coloring book of famous Muslims.


Bentley Meeker

Meeker is a renowned artist whose work has been featured at The Whitney Museum of American Art, among other notable exhibitions. Much of his art revolves around the use of light. One such instance of this is through his affiliation with Burning Man; Meeker created the lighting for the temple three times. Our favorite work by Meeker is Weed World, an ambitious installation of four glass walls and light. Cannabis plants were depicted on each wall and green light was projected through the glass for a truly mind-bending experience.


Tom Sachs

Sachs is a sculptor who centers much of his art around a critique of consumerism through the coopting of some of its symbolic representations. His art has been acquired by many of the world’s leading museums and galleries, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and the Centre Pompidou. Bong Hit Station is sure to delight those who appreciate experimental art and cannabis.


Maureen R. Drennan

Maureen Drennan is a photographer whose work focuses on depictions of outsiders. She has had her images featured in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Huffington Post, and elsewhere. One of our favorite pieces by Drennan is Meet Me in the Green Glen, a book of photographs that capture the isolation of a lone cannabis grower operating out of rural California.


Roe Ethridge

Ethridge is a postmodernist photographer known for adapting images to incorporate surprising and subversive elements. His work has been collected by The Museum of Modern Art, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and elsewhere. His Sarah Beth with Pipe, a photograph of a young, redheaded woman lighting a bowl, breathes new life into this everyday action.

Want to satisfy your desire for elegant, cannabis-based art? Then click here to take a look at our collection of minimalist and informative cannabis prints.

Tagged with: Cannabis Culture
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