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Vintage & Signed Blotter Art

The History of Blotter Art

Blotter Art is a term that originally referred to the absorbant paper that liquid LSD was sometimes dropped onto. Artwork was printed onto "blotter" paper and then perforated into tiny squares or "hits," which could be torn apart into easy to manage quantities.

Forms of LSD Pills
In the 1960s, when LSD was legal, it was distributed in large pills, sometimes called "barrels" because of their shape. It was also sold on anything from sugar cubes to animal crackers. Dealers began to want their "batch" of LSD to be recognizable from the others, so they began to invent ways to trademark their acid. The chemists would make the pills a certain shape or color as to set them apart from others, especially if they were packaging particularly potent dosages. This also served as a form of a validation of authenticity, proving that the dealers were not selling fake LSD. As a bonus, the dealers would get a kick out of the buzz created by their "brand" of acid.
Sometime after LSD became illegal, mandatory minimum sentencing was set into place. These laws placed mandatory sentences on drug offenders based on the weight of the substances with which they were caught. Therefore a drug dealer busted with one dose of acid on a sugar cube that weighed 1 gram would get the same sentence as a dealer caught with 1 gram of LSD crystal, which would represent about 10,000 doses of LSD! It didn't take a genius to figure out that a new, lightweight, medium for distributing LSD was needed.

In comes Blotter Art:
The foremost Blotter Art historian, Mark McCloud, suggests that after Owsely Stanley's pill press was busted, that Blotter Acid began to make its way on to the streets, replacing the pills as the standardized medium. Shortly after, iconic images began to make their way onto Blotter Paper, which allowed dealers to easily put their own logo on the acid they were selling. The logo could have been professionally printed or have been a rubber stamp of some image that further served as an underground trademark. Not only did this serve to identify a brand of acid, but by using Blotter Paper, which weighed far less than other mediums, it kept drug dealers who got busted from getting as much mandatory time.

Today, the term "Blotter Art" takes on a whole new meaning. Now, Blotter Art refers to a highly collectable form of artwork. It steals its popularity from the visual similarities it shares with its' once prolific chemical-soaked cousin. Blotter Art has transcended the underground drug market and is available to art lovers worldwide. It is not illegal, it is ART! It celebrates the days gone by when we were young and our minds were blooming. Now we no longer have to use an illegal substance to take a "trip," even if it is down memory lane.

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