The garden takes a sudden plunge and transports us to the hypnotic underground waters of the Drug Dystopia.
Diverging from the series’ main color palate I intended to illustrate an altered and dreamlike space. In this luxurious underground getaway, the inhabitants of the garden, as shown in the foreground, hover above the luminous glow of the lake. The datura plant, borders the edge of the pale lime and seafoam glow. The flowers trumpet like form face to absorb this seduction. The source of substance can be traced to the platform that stands elevated above the crystal shores.
Upon this structure sits forms that are rendered more-machine like than organic. These machines resemble the narcotic poppy and the hallucinogenic morning glory flower. These hybrid machine-plants glow with the same brilliance that is emitted from the lake. With a physical and psychic wall between them and the outside world, the crystal shore dwellers live a life of euphoric numbness.
Again I used color in this piece to help the viewer make connections. The poisonous yet alluring mood created by the lake speaks to the concept behind the drug dystopia. This color is used in the machine-plants to help define them as the source of the liquid. Elevated above the waters, the machine-drug plants produce this liquid as it cascades down below. By illustrating these mechanical-plants in an elevated position, they are established as dominating over the space. Combining the morning-glory and poppy, I wanted to suggest that their product is both euphoric and sedative.
By looking other works in this subgenre I found two major types of drug dystopias. One is the homogenizing, emotion-depleting drug dystopia such as George Lucas’s THX 1138. THX 1138 depicts sterile, head-shaving society that acts in complete rationality under their prescribed drugs.
The other typical drug dystopia shows what happens when recreational drugs run rampant. Philip K. Dick’s A Scanner Darkly is a famous example that influences this illustration. A Scanner Darkly imagines America losing the war on drugs. In this work The spread of a highly addictive psychoactive called Substance D takes a hold of society. Police than develop an expansive system of surveillance with the drug as perhaps merely an excuse to set up elaborate surveillance systems.
My illustration takes after such plots. The plants in the foreground experience a mindless, inauthentic happiness, a vacuous escapism that makes them comfortable with their lack of freedom.
|Type of Work||Painting|
|Medium||Gouache & Watercolor on wood panel.|
|Dimensions||11 x 14 in.|
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