Terence McKenna Art & Photography

In addition to books, magazines, and other print media related to Terence McKenna, I have also been developing a modest collection of art and photography.

Philip Meech (Photographer)

Most recently, I acquired two press photos of Terence taken while he was in the U.K. in 1994 by photographer Philip Meech. The photos appear to have been taken as part of an interview that Terence did with the London-based writer, editor, and translator Susan de Muth as part of her regular “In Bed With…” column in The Independent, which I have previously written a separate blog post about. The photos had been culled from a press archive where they had been languishing, and, of course, use the not uncommon “Terrance” misspelling. They are relatively large photos at approximately 10.5 x 7.5 inches (plus border).

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Chip Simons (Photographer)

And, of course, I have the full set of 17 spectacular light photography photos from Chip Simons’ 1991 photo shoot (all of which are on offer through the crowdfund). Chip was kind enough to send me the original photo positives, which I was able scan at the university at a very high quality, and which he graciously offered me to allow to offer for donation to support the archives.

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Matthew Scott Lawrence (Tattooist/Artist)

In addition to these photos, I have slowly been acquiring a modest collection of Terence McKenna art. The archives currently owns (I believe–I hope I’m not forgetting something) three original pieces of art along with several prints.

Most recently, the tattoist and artist Matthew Scott Lawrence actually stopped by the archives while on a long road trip to drop off his original drawing of Terence McKenna, created with marker and colored pencil in 2014, which had been following him around from tattoo shop to tattoo shop until it found its way into the archive here. Check Matt out on his instagram page.

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Here’s Matt and some of his other work, including another artistic homage to Terence and his butterfly collecting. Matt also has his own relevant tattoos: Terence’s iconic face and “Archaic Revival” written across his back.

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Matthew Scott Lawrence

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Matthew Scott Lawrence

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Self portrait using Procreate with an iPad Pro

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Drawn on April 3rd, 2017 to commemorate Terence’s day of passing

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Matthew’s art transferred to a different medium…the human body.

 

Adam Sturch (Artist)

I was also, happily, able to acquire Adam Sturch’s original, untitled, 2019 drawing of Terence based on early (Amazon), middle, and late career images.

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Adam is prolific in his highly-competent style. Check him out on instagram.

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Aaron Raybuck (Artist)

By far the largest original artwork that currently exists in the archives is Aaron Raybuck‘s (48″ x 24″) canvas painting ‘Shamanistic Explorer’.

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Other work by Aaron:

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Dim Media (Art Collective)

In addition to the few original art pieces in the archive, I am pleased to have high-quality prints of several other art pieces. The Dim Media collective from the Twin Cities were kind enough to send me the last available canvas print of their 2010 florescent and non-florescent acrylic painting ‘Terence McKenna: Fractal Hippy’ which is part of their Wizards, Blasphemers, and Aethernauts series and has been on display at Turbo Tim’s Anything Automotive in NE Minneapolis for many years.

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And another blasphemer from the series:

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I also have high-quality prints of the following artworks:

Joanna Sasso

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Joanna Sasso also has a counterculture figures series:

 

Lucy Hannah Barritt

Lucy Hannah Barritt‘s chalk, bleach, and acrylic ‘Terence McKenna’ is unique and stunning, and I’m very pleased to have a large, quality print of it in the archive.

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Lucy’s art is ever-evolving, and it’s always a pleasure to see what she’s up to lately:

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Jeff Drew

Jeff Drew‘s highly detailed digital rendering of Terence’s revisioning of human history ‘from monkeydom to starshiphood’. I was able to print this one myself due to the kind offer by Jeff Drew to allow me to make prints available as part of our ongoing crowdfund (for which many of the other artists mentioned on this page have also donated prints).

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Jeff is also highly prolific and accomplished. Here’s just a small taste:

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Mesloes

Finally, I have several (too many to represent here) large prints of Mesloes‘ delightful digital drawings of Terence McKenna, which she delivered personally to the archives when she visited from the Netherlands. Mesloes has also graciously designed The Terence McKenna Archives logo! Mesloes is the creator the Five Dried Grams graphic novelty meme, the McKenna Cafe series in Utrecht, and so much more.

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Crowdfund Acquisitions #2 – Illustrator Matteo Guarnaccia Brings Italian Translation of ‘True Hallucinations’ to Life

Another item that has been added to The Terence McKenna Archives as a result of our ongoing crowdfund campaign is Vere Allucinazioni (1995), an Italian translation of Terence’s “talking book” (1984) and eventually paper book (1993), True Hallucinations: Being an Account of the Author’s Extraordinary Adventures in the Devil’s Paradise.

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What makes this volume particularly valuable and noteworthy, aside from the significance of the affordance for Italian speakers to be able to read Terence’s work, are the copious and excellent illustrations (dozens scattered throughout the text) by Matteo Guarnaccia.

Dozens of Guarnaccia’s drawings litter the pages and often mesh unbelievably well with the contents of the book — I’m only showing a fraction of them here. This is an edition of Terence’s work that is worth having, even if you can’t speak Italian, for the incredibly competent and compelling psychedelic art alone.

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Viva Arte Viva! The Art of Jeremy Shaw, Or A Psychonaut in Venice

I’m never quite sure where Terence will pop up. I was recently alerted by an artist acquaintance, Ken Weathersby (who interviewed Terence in 1996–related post forthcoming), to an appearance by Terence at this year’s Venice Biennale Arte international exhibition, titled Viva Arte Viva, the 57th incarnation of a major art show in Italy running from May through November. The exhibition is composed primarily of nine ‘Trans-pavilions’: The Pavilion Arts and Books, The Pavilion of Joys and Fears, The Pavilion of the Common, The Pavilion of the Earth, The Pavilion of Traditions, The Pavilion of the Shamans, The Dionysian Pavilion, The Pavilion of Colours, and The Pavilion of Time and Infinity. In addition, there are two major project spaces: The Artists Practices Project, which houses “a series of short videos made by the artists about themselves and their way of working,” and Unpacking My Library, a project inspired by Walter Benjamin’s spectacular 1931 essay of the same name, which allows the artists to display a list of their favorite books.

It is within the Unpacking My Library project that Terence was spotted. Among artist Jeremy Shaw‘s list of favorite books was The Archaic Revival.

Some of Shaw’s work is quite explicitly influenced by psychedelics.

The available snippet from his contribution to the Artists Practices Project, a 20-minute video called Liminals, seems reminiscent of a 5-meo-DMT experience. Ben Davis, writing for artnet, found Shaw’s video to have been his “favorite discovery” of the entire exhibition serving as a sort of microcosmic “internal critique” of the disposition of the broader Viva Arte Viva experience, which he describes as a sort of “half-thought-through primitivism.” The film takes place in “future times, [and] as the certainty of human extinction comes to weigh more and more on the species, a group called the ‘Liminals’ form a sort of cult, trying to restimulate the parts of their brain that activate the lost sense of religious belief.” Davis offers a tantalizing outtake of the narration from Liminals: “Thus, the quest of the Liminals, and of periphery Altraist cultures in general, to incite evolutionary advancement in an effort to save humanity is more consistent with the types of reactionary developmental syndromes found in societies during End Times than a plausible attempt for redemption. Nonetheless, their diligence and commitment to such fantastical ideas is rather fascinating.”

This is the frontier that we stand on the edge of. This is what history has been about. History has been some kind of suicide plot for 15,000 years. Not a moment passed that the plot was not advanced closer and closer and closer to completion. And, now, in the 20th century, you know, we see that this thing – this transcendental object at the end of time, this attractor – that chose us out of the animal kingdom, and sculpted the neocortex, opposed the thumb, stood us on our hind legs, gave us binocular vision – this thing is calling us toward itself across aeons of cosmic time. We are asked to mirror it, and as we mirror it, we become more of its essence. And, as we become more of its essence, we leave behind the animal organization that we were cast in, in the beginning. And what is this about? Who knows? Is this a drama of cosmic redemption? Is it the transcendental other at the end of time? Is it a gnostic daemon? What is it? We do not know. But I really believe we are in the era when we will come to know. And what the psychedelics are, are periscopes in the temporal dimension. If you want to see a little bit into the future, elevate your psychedelic periscope outside of the three dimensional continuum and peer around.   -Terence McKenna