Selected Works

Bryan Lewis Saunders was born in 1969, in Washington, D.C.

Saunders is an endurance artist, a performance artist, videographer, performance poet, and self-portrait painter known for his disturbing spoken word rants, tragic art performances and stand-up tragedy.

On March 30, 1995, Saunders began drawing at least one self-portrait every day for the rest of his life. For 11 days in 2001, Saunders conducted an experiment in which he ingested or inhaled a different intoxicant every day and created a self-portrait under the influence documenting the effects of his altered perception. On May 16, 2010 Saunders performed in the Palau de la Virreina as part of the International Poetry Festival in Barcelona alongside Bibbe Hansen, Eugene S. Robinson and Lydia Lunch as “The Ugly Americans”. In January 2011, a selection of the drug induced self-portraits presented online went viral. In 2003, Saunders began sleeping with a cassette recorder and documenting both his dreams and somniloquy which led to a wealth of source material for both audio releases and books. The transcriptions of his lengthy somniloquy are an example of the Stream of unconsciousness (narrative mode) method of writing.

On March 30, 2015, on Saunder’s 20 year anniversary of drawing a self-portrait a day, the feature-length documentary Art of Darkness was released worldwide on various on-demand platforms. The film by David Parker is an intimate profile that includes candid interviews with Saunders and highlights of the artist’s life; from troubled childhood through his various art experiments including his infamous “drug series” of self-portraits.