Thousands of colorful ecstasy pills is the preferred medium of artist Chemical X
There’s someone in the UK who makes art out of illegal drugs. No shit. The anonymous artist goes by Chemical X, and they’ve sold a ton of it already to underground collectors — sometimes fetching upwards of one million pounds (about $1.2 million U.S. dollars).
During an interview with Rooster, they said that yeah, sometimes the pills are real, sometimes they’re not. It all depends on what the commission asks for and what kind of heat the fuzz are on at the time. The pills are all processed in a lab, at arms’ length, through a trusted friend. And the reason why they use them is obvious — pretty colors, and the history of how it changed the social landscape.
“When the use of ecstasy went mainstream in the UK, it changed the way British society worked for a while and those changes will have repercussions forever,” says Chemical X. “I believe it had a cultural impact akin to the use of LSD in California in the ‘60s.”
The most popular piece, The Spirit of Ecstasy, is a wildly realistic fleshy woman hanging out in a swirl of pills with the word “Bacon” tattooed on her right foot. A deathly look hovers about her — easy to look at, hard to look away. Chemical X says it was based off of the painting “Ophelia” by Sir John Everett Millais, and the model was heavily involved in the creative process.
For now it’s about treading a thin line between being creative and being locked up. But for $1.2 million? ... We’ll allow it.