Home Prints pricelist sampler history CONTACT

Mark McCloud and the Institute of Illegal Images

Mark McCloud's collection, also known as the "Institute of Illegal Images" is the most comprehensive collection of decorated LSD blotter paper in the world. As such, the collection has been the target of two criminal trials where McCloud was forced to defend not only the collection, but also his own liberty. The story behind these events is best told by journalists:

The Cure of Souls at Psychedelic Solution Gallery, 1988 - curated by Mark McCloud, video clip.

The Art of Acid by Andy Soma for Seconds Magazine, Issue #5 - 1988 – "Examples of true American folk art, like whittling."

Acid House by Jack Shafer for SF Weekly

Adventures in Wonderland, Weirdness comes calling in the Kansas City trial of a San Francisco acid lover by Casey Logan for Pitch.com

It's Not Acid, It's Art! in Artnet News, 4/9/01 – "After a two-week-long trial in federal court in Kansas City, Mo., San Francisco artist Mark McCloud -- notorious in the annals of psychedelic art for his 25-year-long quest to compile a complete collection of LSD blotter art -- was acquitted by a local jury of felony charges of conspiracy to distribute LSD."

Dr. Hofmann's problem child turns 58 by Chris Colin for Salon.com

Acid Art That's Finger Trippin' Good by Piers Townley, for British magazine, Loaded

LSD Blotter Art by Thomas Lyttle, for MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies) Bulletin volume xiv number 1 summer 2004, also see the article in PDF format with pictures:

LSD-Artefakte, das Unsichtbare sichtbar machen by Dr. Christian Rätsch for the Entheogene: Blätter Issue - Ausgabe 11 – April / 2003, click here for a PDF version of the magazine:

MindStates IV Review by RevMeO, June, 2003 edited & published by Erowid, Feb. 2004
"Mark McCloud -- the blotter art man -- presented the most fun speech/slideshow of the conference. The art was fantastic and his notations about each piece often led to humorous anecdotes. He also came bearing gifts (simple blotter art) - that's always a crowd pleaser."

The King of Blotter Art: Mark Mccloud Speaks..., Interviewed by Jon Hanna, Entheogen Review, Voume XII, Number 4, Winter Solstice 2003.

D!verse Work Gallery – "Once (1987 or '88) hosted an exhibit of acid blotter art curated by Mark McCloud... ", Houston, Texas

The Kingdoms of Elgaland & Vargaland Official Embassies & Consulates – The Consulate in the Headlands, California, USA, was inaugurated in April 1995 for the Open House at the Headlands Center for the Arts, San Francisco ... "Acid blotter art was handed out by the Ambassador in San Francisco, Mark McCloud"

• Gone – A Showing of Blotter Acid Art Curated by Mark McCloud at the Rico Gallery In Santa Monica, "A comprehensive historical survey of the most renowned and mind bending blotter acid art of the 1960s through 1990s. This exhibition features selected works from the world's largest collection of blotter acid art."

Cabinet Magazine: Greatest Hits: The Art of Blotter Acid Tune in, turn on, drop out. Issue #8 "Pharmacopia" "The above example of blotter art—with its two-side printing depicting the beginning of Alice's "trip" through the looking glass and representing 900 doses—was created by Mark McCloud, who, with the possible exception of the FBI, owns the world's largest collection of (now LSD-free) blotter."

Made Magazine, Issue 20 - A quarterly, hard-cover magazine out of Vancouver BC devotes sixteen pages to an interview with Mark and a selection of Blotter Barn images.

The Spirit of Basel, International Symposium on the Occasion of the 100th Birthday of Albert Hofmann - "On the occasion of the 100th birthday of Dr. Albert Hofmann on 11 January 2006, the Gaia Media Foundation stages an International Symposium on the most widely known and most controversial discovery of this outstanding scientist… experts will present an in-depth review of all aspects of this unique phenomenon, informing and discussing history, experiences, implications, assess the risks and benefits of this most potent of all psychoactive substances. LSD -  a challenge in the past, now, and in the future." Mark is honored to be amongst the confirmed speakers for this upcoming event.

Blotter Art: The Institute of Illegal Images, Juxtapose Magazine - Interview with Mark McCloud by Rak Razam. "The downstairs lounge of McCloud’s San Francisco home is a private art gallery dedicated to what could be called America’s most “illuminating” art form, de-activated samples and sheets of acid from the sixties to the noughts collected everywhere from the local street corner to the other side of the world. Stumbling through his collection is like one giant flashback to every acid trip you’ve ever had, immortalized right there on his wall"

Inside LSD, National Geographic Channel, Explorer, "A collector of psychedelic art takes us on a trip through his collection."

In A Perfect World - 23: Blotter Art: The Institute of Illegal Images, "In conversation with Mark McCloud, acid blotter art historian and 60s archivist in his home in the Mission district of San Francisco, August, 2009. In which experiential podcaster Rak Razam learns from the master about the colorful and mind-expanding history of blotter art, from the early acid chemist oufits like the "Ghost" and the underground crews that ran the business of enlightenment. Discover who first put artwork on blotter and how the process of dipping the chemical on artwork was evolved."

LSD Museum or Institute of Illegal Images? by Mission Loc@l, Gregory Thomas "Dubbed the "LSD Museum" by some of his fans, McCloud's collection includes more than 33,000 sheets and individual tabs of blotter paper imprinted with pop culture images and used to transmit doses of LSD. He calls it the "Institute of Illegal Images."

Dropping Into Acid by Joshua Cobos for The Bold Italic "He (Mark) introduced me to the main parlor, where a massive collection of framed blotter paper hung. (Mark has over 33,000 sheets in his possession). Around the house, rock ’n’ roll ephemera, psychedelic literature, and art have become part of hallways, kitchen, bathrooms, and bedrooms. This in part due to the grand assortment of artists that have passed through the house. More than showcasing any particular artist, though, Mark’s displays have become massive psychedelic installations."

El Louvre En Miniatura por Hueso van Hemp Mark McCloud, el coleccionista de ácidos. El LSD revolucionó occidente y la prohibición terminó impulsando un nuevo arte. sin embargo, los dibujos no pegan y, más allá de los mitos, es lo mismo Gorbachov que una bicicleta. Biografía y encuentro con el argentino que empapeló su casa de lisergia.



Joshua Cobos article header