Brazilian artist Fernando de la Rocque is huffing and puffing and quite literally blowing the art world down with his controversial artwork ‘painted’ entirely with marijuana smoke.
The imaginative artist has been making images out of cannabis smoke for more than two years now, and he has no plans of slowing down despite criticism and also the fact that his work advocates the use of cannabis without outlining responsibly the negative effects it can invoke.
He has aptly titled his expanding collection of weed paintings, “Blow Job” because he blows the smoke to create the one-of-a-kind, quite unique images.
De la Rocque says that for him, rolling a joint has become about both work and pleasure.
The resourceful artist, who not surprisingly also openly advocates for marijuana legalisation worldwide, says he started smoking pot in his younger years and only later decided that instead of wasting the smoke, he would use it to make unique pieces of art:
“I first started smoking when I was an adolescent because I liked to smoke, I think it is pleasurable. And it is a sustainable action, you could say. I’m taking advantage of an ‘ink’ that’s just being tossed into the air to make a work of art,” de la Rocque said.
Working out of his Rio de Janeiro apartment, which also happens to be located against a police station in the Botafogo neighbourhood, de la Rocque manages to smoke the illegal drug and keep the focus on his work.
Once he has decided on an image, the artist first cuts out a plastic stencil of what he plans to create.
With the stencil made, he lights up a joint, draws in the smoke, and blows it back out through the stencil, staining a sheet of paper placed behind it.
In the video footage above, he is making a picture of Uruguayan President Jose Mujica who oversaw the legalization of marijuana in the tiny South American country, the first country to do so in 2013.
“I choose images that I think are more visual so that when it comes time to cut the stencil, for example with the image that I’m doing of Mujica, I chose an image that really shows his wrinkles around his eyes and stuff so it really stands out and aesthetically it looks nice,” he said.
His work could not be timelier as marijuana legalization efforts have blazed ahead around the world and only this week even the family of the late Bob Marley have unveiled their own brand of ‘clean’ marijuana for commercial availability.
Most recently, residents of the U.S. states of Oregon and Alaska and Washington, D.C. also voted to legalize recreational use of the drug.
These localities are set to join the states of Washington and Colorado, which in 2012 voted to become the first U.S. states to allow recreational marijuana use.
But even de la Rocque says there are limits to how much he can smoke:
“The darker the colour of the picture that I want to use, the more I have to smoke. But I can only do one layer at a time. Otherwise I end up getting an exaggerated effect (from the marijuana) beyond what it is pleasurable,” the artist said.
Though mostly decriminalized, marijuana remains illegal in Brazil. The country has only allowed medicinal use of cannabis in a handful of cases.
But that hasn’t slowed de la Rocque down as his collection of weed paintings continues to grow.
Tweet us your thoughts.