photography, Western Michigan University

Luis Sanchez

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venlafaxine-HCL-ER-(Effexor-ER)

Luis Sanchez
ART 3470: Digital Photography 1
Digital Prints; 11in x 14in
20 photo series

I took inspiration from the book “Go Ask Alice”. The book is an anonymous diary of a teenage girl who struggles with drug addiction. She doesn’t have many friends and her family ends up moving in the beginning of the book. She starts fresh at a new school and meets some people who later invite her to a party. She takes her first drug, LSD (Acid), at the party and feels welcomed by the people there. Soon after she felt a sense of belonging when she did drugs with those people. Her life started getting out of control and she got into doing harder drugs like Heroin an Crack and she went down a deep dark path of drug addiction and even prostitution. I wanted to steer away from making my series about people using drugs recreationally. Instead of using drugs that are typically used recreationally such as: LSD, MDMA, Cocaine, Marijuana, etc; I researched the top 20 most popular psychiatric drugs prescribed in the US. I wanted to dig further into drug addiction and focus on some mental illnesses that can lead to drug addiction such as depression and anxiety. Each photo in the series is titled as a mental illness drug with the scientific name followed by the brand name, for example; alprazolam (Xanax). In each photo you can see a human with the chemical structure of the drug in their titles floating around them. I wanted to express the drugs in a unique way while keeping the theme of mental illness present.

6 thoughts on “Luis Sanchez”

  1. I think your images and your concept are really powerful. I love the way you’ve placed the chemical/drug into every image is such an unobtrusive way. The colors in the images also work really well to set a specific mood and tone for your images.

  2. Very cool! I didn’t notice hidden drug/ chemical compounds in the pictures until you pointed them out. In think your theme is very deep and drugs, medical drugs especially along with the issues they are prescribed for, we often prefer to not talk about. Depression and anxiety are serious afflictions that i think we nee to draw more attention to (i think the subtlety and mellowness of your compositions really draws that to light). Great job!

  3. I really enjoy these images and I love the description you made, because it really gives the viewer an idea of what you are looking for. Without the description, someone may feel that there is a disconnect between the images. So that may also be a problem. I think if you incorporate other photographs, such as photographs of illicit drugs or containers, etc., it would make your series more successful.

  4. I love the top picture. I think the way you framed it, the way the subject is posed, his expression and body language is very intriguing. It is the merging of all of these aspects (and more) that make a great photograph, and I think you did just that!

  5. I originally didn’t see the compounds hidden in the photos before I read the description. I initially thought the pictures were well done, the blue/red tints in the images working well with the drug theme. However, seeing the chemical symbols strengthens the pictures for me, as the context gives special meaning to what the pictures depict.

  6. I like the concept you have chosen — mental illness is something that needs to be addressed but it is very difficult through photography. I didn’t see the chemicals on the image until I read the description. The first image is composed very well: the person in the background add a lot more to the concept of depression and anxiety.

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