Artist Bryan Lewis Saunders has painted a self-portrait every single day… since 1995.

In 1995, artist and performer Bryan Lewis Saunders completed a self-portrait. He has continued to do so for every day of his life that followed, resulting in an astonishing collection of over 10,000 self-portraits to date. In 2001, he spent 11 days drawing portraits under the influence of nearly every known perception-altering narcotic. He shows no signs of slowing down, speculating that only a coma would prevent him creating that day’s painting.

Filmmaker David Parker deftly captures Saunders’ manic energy and his flair for the creative arts. Refreshingly unpretentious and sincere, Saunders opens up about his past troubles with the law and is happy in sharing the stories behind his artwork and the events that inspired each piece. He acknowledges art as a form of therapy and believes it is a way of dealing with darkness and desperation – going as far as to teach himself Chinese to go to China to be a stand-up comedian, before deciding there are too many stand-up comedians in the world and inventing stand-up tragedy.

The Art of Darkness is a fascinating documentary for existing fans of Bryan Lewis Saunders’ work and an informative induction to newcomers alike.

Katie Baldock

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