Inspired by various cultures, artistic movements, and substances, what we would today call “psychedelic art” has been around for centuries, if not longer. These works of art aim to evoke spiritual or transcendental experiences through the use of vivid colors, intricate patterns, and surreal imagery that remind us of things we might encounter after ingesting psychedelics, like mushrooms or ayahuasca. Psychedelic art can offer us a beautiful escape from reality that tests the limits of our sensory perceptions, no matter if we’re enjoying it during a trip or to pass the time on a regular-regular day. This trippy artwork sparks our creativity, feeds our imagination, and has inspired countless other forms of art, from the films of Guillermo del Toro to animated series like Netflix’s Midnight Gospel.
In this day and age, the best psychedelic art isn’t displayed in museums or painted on the walls of caves but posted, liked, and shared countless times a day within the quintessentially visual world of Instagram. It’s a rabbit hole that’s seemingly endless—so for those who want to explore psychedelic art and get inspired (or feed your head while the head is vibing high), we’ve identified nine accounts that should give you plenty to look at.
Trippy Psychedelic Art for Every Occasion
From imaginative scenes of intergalactic merpeople to intricate patterns on hoodies and abstract geometry painted on city streets, art can be a lot of things. There are different strokes for different folks (and different art for different kinds of trips). We’ve honed in on nine Instagram accounts that offer a diverse range of artists and art, so click through a few of them to find which may tickle your fancy.
Lauren YS is a non-binary artist based in Los Angeles who creates colorful and surreal work influenced by dreams, mythology, psychedelia, love, sex, and their Asian-American heritage: Picture exploring all the nooks and crannies of a shroom-infused neon space Tokyo. Their otherworldly creatures—many painted fifty feet high on buildings all around the world— transport viewers to the wild workings of the artist’s mind. They have engaged in numerous collaborations with other street artists, and their work can be purchased in forms ranging from stickers to holographic foil sheets, books, blotters, and more.
Sabrina Ratté is a Canadian multimedia artist living in Montreal whose mesmerizing and abstract animations, videos, and photos often incorporate “glitch” aesthetics and digital manipulations. With organic scenes layered with bold effects, her work is sure to get your wheels turning about the increasingly fused relationship between technology and the natural world; is that trippy, glistening flower an edited photograph or purely virtual reality? Ratté’s work has been projected in and on museums around the world, but her Instagram is sure to give you a satisfying taste.
Ryoichi Kurokawa is a Japanese visual and musical artist in Berlin whose immersive, multi-channel video installations explore the limits of perception and the human senses by combining abstract visuals, trippy soundscapes, and complex data visualizations. On Instagram, you can sample completed art from his archive—along with works in progress. These works have a visually darker quality, so the colors incorporated appear even more striking. One of our favorites is this mind-boggling assemblage of lines that seems to evoke a three-dimensional graph: plotting what exactly? We’ll let your mind decipher.
Originally from Zimbabwe, Visualdon (real name Donmupasi) is a UK-based 3D visual artist and photographer whose retro sci-fi animations and NFTs have earned a large following. Uncannily real yet simultaneously unreal, these pieces immerse you in what feels like a fantastical video game, combining the aesthetics of 1980s Miami with futuristic journeys through the cosmos. “Starman” uses a kind of computer-rendered Hitchcock shot to depict a future space-human standing at the edge of a classically adorned palace overlooking the Earth. “Anomaly” presents you with a fantastical galaxy view on a casual saunter through the desert.
An American “digital painter” from Colorado, Android Jones’ works are recognizably psychedelic yet unique. With highly spiritual, mystical effects, Jones depicts human faces impressionistically swirled with animals, flowers, and other parts of the natural world, as well as speakers and other forms of technology. You’re likely to see his work—including live visuals to accompany the sets of electronic music artists like Mersiv—at transformational festivals from Alabama to Costa Rica. It can be purchased on various apparel, tapestries, and even yoga mats. “Esoteric Wasteland” is a great place to start.
Archan Nair is an Indian artist based in Berlin who creates stunning, intricate digital illustrations and mixed-media collages that blend traditional Indian aesthetics with contemporary themes. His works often feature fantastical creatures and otherworldly landscapes influenced by a range of Eastern and Western spiritual thought and the larger psychedelic art movement. He has produced work for brands like Sony, Netflix, GQ, Samsung, Electric Forest, Red Bull, Nike, and more—exemplifying how popular psychedelic art has become! We love the subtle intricacies of “Over There,” a scene reminiscent of the Miyazaki film Princess Mononoke, which seems to reveal more the longer you stare.
Mike Winkelmann, known professionally as Beeple, is another digital artist whose work has penetrated far into the mainstream—at 2.4 million, he has more Instagram followers than anyone else on our list. He got into visual art after studying computer science and has since become known as a visionary creator of NFTs, many of which are trippy, uber-realistic, and honestly sometimes creepy assemblages of elements and characters from politics and pop culture. You may have heard of Beeple in November 2021, when one of his works—a dynamically changing 7-foot-tall sculpture—sold at Christie’s for nearly $29 million. For those with less cash on hand, you can enjoy works like “Simple Pleasures” on Instagram for free.
Hakan Hisim is a Turkish artist who creates colorful and vibrant psychedelic work inspired by nature and mythology, which he calls “memories of a hyperspatial reality woven from light and energy.” Working with both painting and digital tools, Hisim depicts mandalas, sacred geometry, and religious symbology drawing from various traditions. You will have zero trouble getting lost in works like “Venus Exalted,” which was inspired by the writing of mystical poet Alistar Valadez, and the simply gorgeous “Moksha in Bloom.”
A Mexican-American artist based in California, Rimada creates stunning portraits and figurative paintings that often incorporate elements of surrealism and psychedelia in a quest to explore themes of cultural identity, history, and the human condition. These works featuring bold colors, animals, flowers, and people are known for their powerful emotional impact more than their classically psychedelic design—so this is a good place to look if all that sacred geometry gets a little overwhelming. We love the gorgeous depiction of fruits, flowers, and insects in “La Hada,” which is Spanish for “the fairy.”
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