A Brazilian artist blazes his way through the art world with weed paintings created by blowing cannabis smoke. Sharon Reich reports.
It's an interesting concept, but is it art or is all this puffing just hot air? Brazilian artist Fernando de la Rocque creates images "painted" out of cannabis smoke. De la Rocque says that for him, rolling a joint is a mix of work and recreation. SOUNDBITE: Brazilian artist Fernando de la Rocque saying (Portuguese): "I first started smoking when I was an adolescent because I liked to smoke, I think it is pleasurable ... And you could say it's a sustainable act. I'm taking advantage of an 'ink' that's just being tossed into the air to make a work of art." While the medium for his craft may be incidental, de la Rocque's methodology is purposeful. After deciding on an image, he creates a plastic stencil of his subject. Then he lights up. After a few puffs, he blows smoke through the stencil, staining a sheet of paper placed behind it. The day Reuters caught up with him, he was making a picture of Uruguayan President Jose Mujica who oversaw the legalization of marijuana in 2013. SOUNDBITE: Brazilian artist Fernando de la Rocque saying (Portuguese): "I choose images that are more visual ... for example with the image that I'm doing of Mujica, I selected an image that really shows the wrinkles around his eyes and stuff so it really stands out and aesthetically it looks nice." Each work takes a different amount of time and product -- depending on the colors he wants to achieve. While mostly decriminalized, marijuana remains illegal in Brazil. But that's not deterring de la Rocque, who has plans to continue growing his unique collection of pot art.