These days, it’s a risky business being a contemporary art dealer. And it’s a whole lot riskier when the artworks you are selling are made from an illegal substance. As their name suggests, Graham Gussin’s Mary Jane Paintings currently on show at Handel Street Projects are all made from marijuana. “The marijuana resin is bought from various places, ground down, mixed with linseed oil and used on linen paper… I like the idea that this material is a ‘street’ material, we often sense its traces in the city, but also that it is forbidden, taboo, hidden,” says Gussin, adding that making art from hash is “a simple process, but a slow one”.
The works in question vary in size: there is a small monochrome brown panel with the title Monster (2010) (which is apparently built up from so many layers of cannabis that it cost infinitely more to make than to sell). But there are also larger canvasses, more than a metre across, that are more sparing in their use of ganja, such as the abstract striped This is Your Captain Speaking (2018) or Retreat (2016), which depicts a cabin set in woods. Read more