Fine Art and Cannabis: A New Book Suggests the Perfect Pairings

'High Art' gets cultured with cannabis

Art should be able to get you high on its own. But if you need an extra push, why not throw in a little cannabis as well?

A new book by Robert Lambrechts and Estefanio Holtz offers a guide for doing just that. It features more than 50 works of art from museums around the world—and then suggests specific cannabis products to pair with them. 

For example, van Gogh's Self-Portrait with a Straw Hat get paired with Gravita's Red-Headed Stranger. Henri Rousseau's 1910 Tropical Forest with Monkeys probably goes well with some mild Purple Monkey followed by a snack of THC-infused dried fruits. You see where this is headed.

Check out some of the spreads from the book below.

Lambrechts is chief creative officer at Pereira O'Dell. He tells Muse that the book came out of an idea the agency had for a pitch—which it ended up losing. But Rob then happened to come in contact with an editor at Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, who was looking for a book about cannabis and she was interested.

"I always just loved the basic premise of the book—art is confusing, but weed can help—which made it fun to write," Lambrechts says.

With a limited budget, they had no money for licensing art, which meant they needed to find works that were fair use and royalty free. "Luckily a lot of museums have made their collections as such, and we had a lot of interesting stuff to choose from," says Rob. "But beyond just being weird—which there is plenty of—we wanted to find things that represented a wide range of art from different styles and time periods."

As for the actual pairings, "the goal was to try and pair the biology/chemistry of the different strands with the work that the artist was trying to evoke. The goal was always to treat cannabis and the art itself seriously, but have some fun at the interpretations surrounding those works."

Here's a video trailer for the book:

"One of my favorite entries in the book is the Degas "The Milliners" entry, just because it makes me laugh, even though it's kind of dark," Lambrechts says. "My favorite artist in the book is William Blake, and although that particular piece isn't my favorite, I really wanted to have something from him because I find him to be really inspirational for his creative output. One of my other favorite pieces is the Van Gogh 'Irises.' It's a lovely painting of a few ordinary flowers that you can appreciate for its simplicity or with a slightly elevated mindset can provoke thoughts about how we're always surrounded by the wonders of the natural world but very rarely stop to look."

High Art will be published April 27.

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Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd is editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio. Previously, he was creative editor at Adweek.

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