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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The Hallucinogeneration Game – Terence McKenna & The Shamen in New Musical Express

Welcome back to the Terence McKenna Archival Blog. It’s been a very busy summer, and I apologize for not having posted more regularly over the past months. I am hoping to get back into a more regular pattern of posting. Even though the blog has been quiet, the effort to archive the world of Terence McKenna has continued in full force. For the first post back after the summer lull, I thought, as a treat, I’d include an item that I received recently that includes some “new” photos of Terence. People always love that!

You have probably heard the musical collaboration between Terence McKenna and the British band, The Shamen, called ‘Re-Evolution’. If not, you should hear it — it’s a classic! It begins with Terence’s rephrasing of William Blake: “If the truth can be told so as to be understood, it will be believed.” I’ll leave it to you to consider whether you think this is the case or whether you think, as Terence said in a later talk, that he tries to “think of a good story, because I think the best story will win,” and that, perhaps, the truth can be told so as to be understood and a good story might still be believed in its stead. Either way, if you haven’t heard it, or just haven’t listened in a while, it’s worth a (re-)listen. I also am particularly fond of the remix by Future Sound of London, called ‘Re-Iteration’.

The Shamen had previously topped the British music charts with their song ‘Ebeneezer Goode’, which gained both fame and infamy for its apparently subversive MDMA-promoting lyrics: “He’s Ebeneezer Goode….eezer Goode, eezer Goode” (i.e. “E’s are good”; Good-E). So, when they produced ‘Re-Evolution’ with Terence McKenna, people were paying attention, and it drew a lot of popular attention to Terence that he had never received in that way before. The Terence McKenna Archives currently holds two copies of the ‘Re-Evolution’ LP (though I can’t currently locate the posters that came along with them which display a full transcription of Terence’s monologue).

Another related favorite item (this time from the digital archives) is a short article that appeared in the London newspaper, The Daily Mirror, on March 10, 1993.

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I always find it particularly amusing that the author of this article actually contacted “a spokesman for the Confederation of British Industry” to get an official comment on Terence’s suggestion that the working man’s coffee breaks be replaced with cannabis breaks. Cannabis is, of course, still illegal in the UK, 24 years later.

The main item from the archive, though, that I’d like to profile today on the blog is a recently acquired issue of a British music magazine called New Musical Express from February 27, 1993. This issue of NME features The Shamen on the cover and includes a two-page spread article featuring commentary on the band and its recent endeavors and controversies, focusing particularly on their collaboration with McKenna, and includes excerpts of discussions with Terence and co-founder of The Shamen, Colin Angus. Photos are by Steve Double (who I have contacted to inquire about other photos from the shoot). I’ll include some excerpts from the article below the images.

…the bloated, festering music industry has shown itself to be moribund by the debacle of this year’s Brits Awards…

…What kind of decidedly crazy people only give awards on sales merits when their vested interests are involved and refuse to even acknowledge true rags-to-riches tales like that of The Shamen? Why, the committee of money-driven, power-hungry major label movers and shakers of course…

…But Colin Angus and his verbal sparring partner Terence McKenna aren’t fazed today — Colin just feels snubbed by the industry…

…Terence McKenna’s creased face breaks into a huge grin — he’d love to have performed ‘Re-evolution’ with The Shamen at the awards ceremonies and disturbed the peace.

His eyes are twinkling, limpid pools of light. They seem suffused with a thousand years of knowledge. His demeanour betrays¬† a near-lifetime of psychedelic drug ingestion. His voice is a deep, rich, cracked volcano and, in his presence, you feel other-worldly, as if you’re making contact with previously undiscovered alien beings who understand you but whom you can’t understand.

This is Terence McKenna, author, shaman, voyager into the unknown…and not your average acid casualty. A thorn in the side of polite society, a crusader for change, and the spoken-word star of the new single by The Shamen, he’s spooning his chicken curry in London’s East End and offering pearls of wisdom.

Terence: “My approach to this stuff is political and I see this stuff as a vehicle for propaganda. And this youth culture is very astute on how bankrupt the values of the middle-class are. What are they going to have handed on to them? The whole planet has been looted right in front of them. So, getting this kind of message out is empowering an underclass that is going to inherit the world.”

Who is this mild-mannered man who never raises his voice, this American with a 14-year-old son who gets him to listen to grunge and house music when they’re not going out to see Ice-T films together? And what is he doing with one of our highest-profile pop groups, The Shamen, who strive to question the unquestionable when they’re not perfecting bite-sized snippets of electronic gospel…

Terence McKenna…is much more open to music and experience. He doesn’t see Western people with painted faces dancing around a fire as shamen, but people who hold great sway over other people through the healing power of music. And he tries to make mincemeat of my arguments against psychedelic drugs. The reason why most people don’t take these drugs, I proffer, is because they fear for the effects; not necessarily the short-term effects, but the long-term effects, which are largely unknown.

“I think people don’t take them because the establishment has misinformed them, he counters… This is the recovery of the way religion was done for the first million years after it was invented. And it’s just been in the last 500 years of European civilisation that people have become so phobic of the unconscious, of their own minds, that they’ve tried to legislate everything but a waking sleep out of existence.”

Terence: “Society picks and chooses the drugs it exalts, usually to serve a social system that is not our friend, but the friend of the people who are profiting off the social system.”

We have an interesting discussion on the class system — during which Colin and Terence relish abolition of the monarchy — and a heated debate on Christianity.

Colin: “The apocalypse is going to start happening in the beginning of the next century, the next millennium. At least the start of it, anyway. And it’s basically going to be the collapse of the global capitalist economic system, competition for dwindling resources and basically the results of there being too many people on the planet.”

Don’t you have any optimism for the future?

“I do believe that those of use, the people that do survive, that it will be a new beginning for us, a positive transformation.”

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Crowdfunding/This Week’s Terence McKenna Archival Haul (6/18/17)

For the first time in many weeks, there have been no new additions to the Terence McKenna Archives! As such, I thought it might be appropriate to introduce something that I mentioned in a few past blog posts, something that can help ensure that the acquisition process can continue apace and so that we continue to have newly acquired material to share with you each week. You may recall that in the past weeks, I found out about, inquired about, received, and scanned¬†a set of photographs by Chip Simons that he took of Terence at his house in Occidental in the early 90s. Well, I’m pleased to say that I can now offer prints of that photoshoot with all funds going to support the acquisition, preservation, storage, and sharing of Terence McKenna’s legacy. Here’s a low-res example of a collage print with 16 of the 17 photos from the shoot…

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I currently have a shop open at Etsy (with individual and collage prints, magnets, buttons, and a couple posters). The scans are very high quality 600dpi reproductions. This is a way that you can both receive a great product (the prints look great framed on the wall!) and contribute to an important effort. And, in fact, in the long-run, it is not only the photo product that you will get, but as the acquisition process continues and more archival material comes in, that newly acquired material will also continue to be shared. So, you are really helping to fund more Terence McKenna material coming your way in the future. In fact, there are plans underway to host the TM Archives and Transcription Project at the official Terence McKenna website owned by his estate as a permanent online location to where people will be able to access an array of his work and related material.

Here is the storefront:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/TerenceMcKennaArkive

There is actually a much larger crowdfunding campaign for the Terence McKenna Archives coming down the pipeline in the coming months with other tantalizing incentives, but this initial effort with these photos will serve as prelude to that larger campaign. Once that later crowdfund launches, the Etsy shop will probably come down. Here’s a provocative teaser of a page from one of the documents that I’m creating for that larger campaign (from ‘A Companion Guide to Terence McKenna’):

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