10 of Your Favorite Artists and Their Favorite Drugs

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As most of us know, many artists find their inspiration in a drug fueled frenzy. Whether it be heroin or cocaine, many of the most iconic and well-known artists we know today, used drugs, drugs that would eventually end up killing them. Here are 10 of you favorite artists and their favorite drugs to boot.

Michael-Cooper-Keit_481862b1. Michael Cooper

He liked heroin. British photographer Michael Cooper took pictures of some of the most famous musicians during his time in the 1960s and ’70s. He shot magazine covers for artists such as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Like many of his rockstar subjects, the photographer died from a heroin overdose in 1973.

thomas-kinkade2. Thomas Kinkade

He liked alcohol and Valium (dangerous combo.) Painter Thomas Kinkade, known for his idyllic landscapes, died on Good Friday in his sleep after a long day of drinking. According to reports, Kinkade passed away after consuming a lethal amount of alcohol and Valium.

th3. Howard Arkley

He liked heroin. Australian artist Howard Arkley died in July of 1999 from a heroin overdose. The artist was best known for his airbrushed paintings inspired by suburban culture in Australia. His paintings were mostly of houses and architecture.

andy-warhol4. Andy Warhol

Obetrol. Legendary artist Andy Warhol frequently abused the drug Obetrol, a diet pill that let him stay awake all night. The modern-day version of Obetrol is marketed as Adderall. It is also rumored that Andy Warhol did cocaine, like most of his Studio 54 cronies, but his friends and acquaintances have disputed this claim.

damien-hirst5. Damien Hirst

Cocaine, cocaine, cocaine. English artist Damien Hirst has admitted to abusing cocaine and alcohol throughout his career. Hirst told the Daily Mail of his decision to quit his illegal habit, “I can drink and I can take drugs, and I can produce art. At first you go, ‘Great,’ but you can only do that for a certain amount of time.”

mark-rothko6. Mark Rothko

Antidepressants and alcohol were his thing. In 1970 abstract painter Mark Rothko committed suicide by overdosing from antidepressants and slicing his arm open with a razor. Writing about the legal battle that occurred over Rothko’s paintings after his death for Triple Canopy, David Levine described him as a “narcissistic, alcoholic, monomaniacal abstract expressionist.”

Namuth_-_Pollock7.  Jackson Pollock

Simply alcohol. Jackson Pollock was famous for his drip action paintings and also known for his notorious alcohol consumption, which became is downfall. Pollock died in a car accident as a result of his driving drunk and overturning his vehicle.

th8. Vincent Van Gogh

Absinthe. Yep. Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh spent most of his adult life in depression. He became addicted to absinthe and digitalis, a drug derived from a plant that was prescribed to him for his epilepsy. Digitalis can cause one to see with a yellow tint, and this may explain van Gogh’s series of yellow-hued paintings known as “Olive Trees.”

015_nan-goldin_theredlist9. Nan Goldin

She liked heroin and cocaine. Nan Goldin’s epic photo series The Ballad of Sexual Dependency focused on her group of friends, who were part of the 1980s hardcore drug subculture in New York’s Lower East Side. In a recent interview with The Guardian, Goldin admitted wanting to get high from an early age. She said, “When I was 19, I put the needle down and I think that decision saved my life. And, though I mixed heroin and coke, I never smoked crack. There is something genetic inside me that is about surviving, but, so many people I know have gone that I do have survivor’s guilt.”

Basquiat10. Jean-Michael Basquiat

Liked heroin. Painter Jean-Michel Basquiat was 27 years old when he was found dead in his apartment in New York’s East Village from an overdose of heroin. The artist claimed he was doing up to 100 bags of heroin a day before his death.