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Acrylic on Canvas. Size 36" x 36" Completed in San Francisco, September 1994

Heroin is an insidious destroyer of souls. The first experience brings you pleasant dreams and euphoria. There's nothing like the soft warm waves of comfort and well being that surge through your body. Like long lost secret memories from a cool heavenly death. This world's worries are over ... solved in an instant! All your dreams and aspirations are suddenly attainable!

But beware! If you visit this place to often it robs you of ALL your dreams. All the pleasures that life has fated to you will be burned up like a pile of dried leaves. It takes your life and leaves you with only the desire to have IT again, and again… and again. That, and the agony that envelopes you when you can't get it. Heroin will take from you everything that makes you a person. You will no longer be human. Heroin will make you into a monster. You end up existing only for it. You will become its slave. You will become sick, foolish, ugly and sexless.

Perhaps you think, as I once did, that you can take it with impunity. However, I tell you this; Take it just once and it will change you. It is a devil that is older than man and is more evil than any man can comprehend. Yes, it is only a chemical ... as are we all.

This painting is a diary of what was going on in my life while I painted it. I went from prescription pain medication to a full blown Heroin addiction in the course of 2 years. This painting foresaw what was to come. I painted a self-fulfilling prophecy. After this painting, I accidentally burned down my studio and did not paint again for over 10 years.
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Daily Deviation

Given 2007-11-21
With an insane attention to detail, the masterfully rendered BLACK HEROIN by *vmaximus does not only tell a story of the artist himself, but also of past, present and future victims of this insidious destroyer of souls. ( Featured by MidnightExigent )
Critique by TheRealJustinBailey TheRealJustinBailey/critique/320032139">Dec 10, 2010, 9:14:25 PM
"Black Heroin" is like an early vinyl from a long established punk band, it surprises the newcomer with it's rawness. Of course your craftsmanship has improved over the years, but the indelible character that is R.S. Connett haunts "Black Heroin" as much as any subsequent work has.

The crudity of the style works to enhance the urgent terror pulsing from this piece, giving the impression of emotions put forth untainted by excessive reason. The choice of simple black and white evokes pencil drawings one might find occupying the notebook of an art student trying to stay awake during a trigonometry lecture. Each inch of canvas bears another detail to study, another secret to uncover, another character to pity. No other artist has grasped the spirit of modernity as well as you. Sensory overload? Our senses are filled until they overflow and then you still don't let up. Tortured faces mingle with gawking demons, bodily fluids are swallowed by unwilling mouths, a myriad of gross textures populate the canvas, cartoon creatures spout symbols that look like caricatures of Asian calligraphy. Critics may accuse this chaos of celebrating the madness of the modern world rather than making sense of it.

Such opinions fail to understand "Black Heroin" is an emotional piece, not an academic one. The point is that you can't make sense of it. Like a soldier amidst crossfire doesn't have the luxury of analyzing the moral implications of his situation, an addict only knows a world of empty pain. That emptiness is symbolized by the infinite darkness of the background. White borders the darkness, framing the void making me feel as an outsider looking into a world I want no part of.

Other critics will object to the violence and especially the explicit nudity. One wonders why anyone would expect a painting about heroin addiction to be inoffensive in the first place. As wonderful to look at as this and the rest of your paintings are they imprint us with terror. Terror that serves as a cautionary tale. Even if your warning is never heeded I think "Black Heroin" expands us as humans by working our sense of empathy. Penises are prominent, but nothing is erotic or remotely sexual in any way. In this instance the penis is just a body part. You are showing how subservience to a drug strips a person bare, dehumanizes them to the point of being less than an animal. When in-taking a chemical is the sole reason for your existence you must begin to feel like a collection of body parts and fluids, like just a pathway in the journey of that chemical.

"Black Heroin" supplies such a bounty of imagery and ideas that I fear my critique may be as jumbled and haphazard as the painting. To sum up, this painting attacks in a visceral way while never insulting our intelligence. Over the years you have refined your technique, but even in 1994 your style impressed with it's proficiency and feverish mix of horror, personal revelation, and pop culture paraphernalia. Masterpiece is a word that rarely finds it's way into my vocabulary. Mr. Connett you have created a masterpiece.
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
15 out of 17 deviants thought this was fair.
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Warikoze Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2017  Professional Writer
-So take dat mission like I'm gone most epic prayer around the qualification. There half of houd ego shared my alter schizo mental disease hard dropping secret of b&w battle, Medievil conclusion around all history since there began, elephant's, war machine's, soldier with fur hat's on their spear holding hand's control centre. Will crush this addiction like a work their above! Listen' me, the Lord of Abyss, Creator his self (avatar's approve included in 4572 item's, between mine junkie girlfriend own sucking source energy by sexual contact sweat disturbed till absorbe, getting psychedelic exp greatest district learn course, punishing such hundred's of hash rock's no one know:opium here mixed been or simply "white death"?) Lost self life day's, trapped wrong diagnosys curing health mental hospital, above critic contol action's, little square to movement as parkour athlete. Now got it back! Take ma tracker! Future sentence, outstanding event's whispering left shoulder devil old God, sharing trade hot shot dealing&second later we see a vampire Bram Stocker werewolf style undead ghoul, crouching faster between fresh digged grave your place basement till next reincarnation. Buddha monk long ponnytail many year's in practice silently strong bewaring keep straing edge ideology, however, dark cloud of velvet till nano tek sigarette's colour tone cat screaming to opponent, "black widow" spider, bright trunk striking fang's. Thing captured wrong desicion turned jail in childhood, raised a bone wrecked skin at top of back, fearing to hear male is loser. Seam's, old Vlad Cepesh castle is lurking to new guest's, lonely slumber monster hotel service prepared. Emm, cube of drag injected similar to toy Underworld Hell Raiser (hello, one of mine clone's). Devil more greedy that me, the Morning Bringer greatest cruel, pronounced slavering of Yoda, crouching behind, asking set off the LotR ring private finger scar, hah. Saw a near running wedding, now in right contract's between scarred female, how she struggle, today, processing same interlesson's special organization habbit flow way. Dunno, the winter weather is conclude the specific after effect's, village abandoned, dreamly sleep falling cone tree leaf's (stole in pattern drug store med's therapy rejuvenation DMT producing neuron's brain graphic constraction, less awake pissing toulet, side bag). Proud make a partnership with gorgeous open artist Your imaginary equipment, best shooter in real time strategy game's, second feed grabbing into oculus cortex underground understanding the rule enginery playing arrounding not weaponized view throwed. Vomit condition, dead face out gone safety of a part's physical world sight only, not awarded in presentation. We must loan basic reality order replenish innovation, watering behind isn't a evolution meme professor pitty thought radio command sended down.
TheWeatherAlligator Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2016  Student
My favourite drug
FARTYTREEFROG Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2014
GAWD!! =P (Razz) --something of Breugel in this work . :o (Eek)
nuggettishome Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
A profound piece, and so very true. Love all your work, but this is my all time fav. The reason I started "watching".
expressyourpic Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2013
were you on heroin when you painted it ? remember..everything in moderation....
brain-tree Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2013   General Artist
This is a masterpiece.
mesuki23 Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
this IMMEDIATELY made me think of the bad of the In Utero album by Nirvana, and that's a compliment (no offense to any fellow Nirvana/Kurt Cobain fans reading this comment), and the fact that this was created at about the same time that the album was released makes this even better! i actually saw a copy of both Bleach (Nirvana's first album) and the Nirvana MTV Unplugged performance in person for the first time! :D i was sooo happy when i saw them. i literally had to take a few steps back and contain my joy of finding two of my favorite albums by them ;u; but back to this piece. i dont know what it is about heroin that fascinates me. it just... appeals to me for some reason. but this piece is amazing in SOOO many ways. im glad you made this piece at that time. it sends such a message in a very... abstract way (no offense). god bless you for making this, i hope you've been sober for a while :) i hope to not ever get on heroin like my grandfather did (my little brother walked in on him shooting up about two years ago... thank god he got sober...)
nononoLittleJimmy Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Please excuse me while I go have some nightmares....
jayfo1 Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
AcidSin Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2012
You're awesome man,

this got me through tough times...

For what i see you're way worthy than the needle, good luck my friend.
smokegirl Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
Absolutely amazing... you've captured the essence of the demon drug perfectly.
IanLove Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2012
what an amazing piece. I am also a recovering heroin addict, although i never got into tar... this has got to be the coolest picture i've seen in a long time
theOrangeSunflower Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2012  Student General Artist
Demonic and haunting, great work.
DorianoArt Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2012  Professional Artist
GREAT VERY GREAT IMAGE (and great warning inside...I had some young friends killed by the hand of heroine in those years...and I know of what is speaking in your note...and all the pain tied)
MalDudemaker Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Hi :wave:
This piece has been featured... [link]
SteevDragon Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2012
Wow, Max! Just...WOW!
drifting-lonely-soul Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2011
ive requested this as a print - i love it to bits
TRROL-SJS Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Amazing. Beautiful and scary at the same time
lover-of-the-dead Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is amazing. You're an incredible artist, I've known about your art for about a year now, and finally got around to making an account on deviantart. Once again, incredible!
fromthe21stfloor Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2011
you probably scored bad heroin.. ha!
MANDELWERK Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2011
You've got a great gallery Robert.
Love most of your artworks, but this is soo powerful!
FrameWerks Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2011   Digital Artist
KARRISUE2005 Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2011
taken many of my friends to jails, institutions, and death :9
Deadenddoll Featured By Owner May 12, 2011
Hope you're okay nowadays.
Nimium Featured By Owner May 5, 2011
My personal favorite and still my desktop background as a warning.
Father was on heroin, I just met him a couple of days before, never know anything about him.
He's so strong now, my respect you're done with this shit too.
*drawing a little heart in the air*
raspil Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2011   Writer
This definitely looks like the nightmare that heroin could bring. That is why I made sure, even during my own dope days, to never try it, not even once. I think this painting is stunning and a good warning for the curious.
Angie-Pictures Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2011
Really good work. Congratulations to the DD. :iconflowerheartplz:
FrancesHIMfected Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2011   Traditional Artist
TOTALLY LOVED this work of yours!!!!!!!! :')
delinquit Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2011
:D wacky pic.. but seriously the whole heroin thing anit funny. i knew a guy who was an addict and saw the way it changed him till he was no longer a person but just a damaged organism.
swordsandcarrots Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2011
You're amazing
Kiczula Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2011   Digital Artist
oesoph Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2011   Traditional Artist
scary & amazing!!
Oldboy923 Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2010
Amazing, fantastic work, I know from experience your words ring true also!
mekkasop Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2010
disturbing, but very cool:)
SKoziner Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
I'm kinda stuned about the picture, it's surely something I dont think it's beautiful but still have a deep level of complexity to make me watch it.
I can't say I like it because I don't, but I can do say it's a very deep portrait of what you describe, and that's amazing.

Besides that, It was really nice to see that you can describe with that well that nightmare that heroin is.
I'm happy to read how someone can overcome something like that with so vividly experience and such a good advice.
Thanks a lot for that, reading you experience it's and advice in itself.
briankroesch Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
My opiate withdrawl brought me to your work. Great job on this. I can't get off the oxycodone.
DrAlexTGizmotiki Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2010
Sir, I hope you gain immensely from sharing your skill/talen/energy/wisdom. I hope you reach many.
I hope you spare many from some measure of pain-IF they only listen, learn and SEE from your gift. TY
I could FAVE almost your entire Gallery- truly.
Fradga Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
One of the scariest things on deviantart.
that is amazing
MukuBooka Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2010
Wonderful. Was it oxycontin you were prescribed? Keep up your fight!
kuni Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2010
What can I say.. while I've never been addicted to heroin, I got struck pretty hard by what you described. I know the feeling of fear of just everyday lifes tasks, of waking up in the morning and the irrational fear of, well, everyday life. I drink alot myself, and smoke things.. I've been thinking about trying some of the harder stuff, and have many times before. But after reading your personal experiences, I think I can safely say I will not cross that border. I can only imagine the horrors involved with the withdrawal even if I've only had milder experiences myself. Your warning hit me hard and I think I owe you a big thank you for being so very honest about your life experiences, they have given me a harsh and honest example of what awaits behind the promising temptation of a short heaven, deep dark fall that is heroin.

Thanks for giving an example to live by, I will honor it and take it to heart!
nymusDCXV Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2009
it makes me happy to see other people get off it. i myself am struggling right now to do so, god help me...

the artpiece is simply amazing. it reminds me of every day i live... the fear, the lies, the paranoia, being dopesick. i've lost most all my friends. most of my money i've had saved.the art embodies all of it, a wonderful portrayal of bad memories in a dark, lonely world.

your artpiece makes me miss the life i had. its powerful.
Darkishblossoms Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2009
few peeps can do this type of work,
Ur amongst the 2%
wait for the gathering...very soon
Chef-X Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2009
this pic is pretty awesome killer work :D
jellyisyum Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2009
wow that is just amazing
RSConnett Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you! :D
BoogieBoyLock Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
At first I just loved it for the quality of your work and how intricate it is. But I appreciate the content even more so with the statement of your personal experiences. I hope that you are not the slave of any drugs now. =) Addictions are tough. Good luck for the future, i hope your real life isn't as intense as your work. Your gallery is amazing.
Pitifloyter Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
awesome, great work
janellemckain Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Powerful story behind this work... powerful imagery, and your statement says it all. :clap:
strohat Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2009
absolute wicked!
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Submitted on
September 23, 2004
Image Size
239 KB


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