Anthony Ausgang, a pioneer of the lowbrow art movement, has featured his work in galleries, magazines, album covers (MGMT’s Congratulations) and even on Green Day’s Revolution Radio tour plane and merch.
When the English author Coleridge used opium as an inspiration for his famous poem “Kubla Khan“, he joined a long tradition of artists, writers and musicians searching for substances to augment their creativity. As a Lowbrow painter who’s no stranger to such a pursuit, I’ve depended on smokable cannabis for decades to help an image make it from my mind to the canvas.
So, when KANHA asked if I would like to sample their sativa gummies and report back on their art-making efficacy, I was more than agreeable. In fact, maybe I was a bit demanding.
The box I received included sativa in flavors like Cherry (which I found good for making music, kinda weird since cherries look like musical notes), Cran-Pomegranate, Pink Guava and Luscious Lemon, all delicious as 10mg and 5mg round chewy pastilles. But the last package was the killer: Sour Cherry Limeade Belts in two 50mg strips, each one a good recreational dose.
Fortunately for KANHA, I had two upcoming shows so I essentially ripped open the pack of Cran-Pomegranate gummies and got to work in my studio. There was no time to waste, which brings up perhaps the best attribute of KANHA gummies: the resultant effects come on fast, but with an agreeable ease. Comfortably fortified, I started sketching with bravado and flourish, pushing into places I normally wouldn’t. Indeed, why not give a cat two heads or more? It was a good start that got better throughout the night as the rough sketch became the final drawing.
The next day, after a good breakfast of gummies as the main course and granola for dessert, I started painting. In the past, these first brushstrokes have quickly led to weeping and destroyed canvases, but KANHA’s Luscious Lemon kept my spirits up. If a color was wrong, I just fixed it with no self-recrimination. But best of all, I was able to shed my deadline panic and concentrate on making sure that painting was truly the best I could do. Which I guess it was since the painting sold.
Wait, you say, what about the Sour Cherry Limeade 50mg strips? Well, Coleridge was disturbed during his high by a visitor and never finished the poem. So, I haven’t tried them yet, but when I do, I’ll make sure the studio is locked.
Anthony Ausgang, Los Angeles