Considering that 1999, Canadian pop and mural artist Daniel Joseph Bombardier, greater recognized by his artistic alter ego DENIAL, has been generating aerosol and stencil artworks that critique modern politics, capitalism, consumerism and the human situation. But a single of DENIAL’s most current pieces, commissioned for and by Higher Occasions, is a far more private project. Aspect of a series titled “Shelf Medication,” DENIAL developed a giant capsule that appears like a painted pill branded with the Higher Occasions logo. But even though “Shelf Medication” desires to draw focus to the way folks obsess more than brands and develop into addicted to solutions, DENIAL’s Higher Occasions capsule is far more about how folks are beginning to view and use cannabis as a medicine.

Overdose Collection by artist, Appreciate Denial. Aerosol on wood panel. 2019

Higher Occasions caught up with Bombardier, who just wrapped up a “Part Art Aspect Party” at his studio, celebrating the launch of a restricted edition English beer DENIAL made some artwork for. We asked him about the function cannabis plays in his inventive procedure, how it treats his insomnia and why he’s getting sued by Mercedes-Benz.

Canadian Mural Artist DENIAL Cured His Insomnia with Cannabis Oil

Artist DENIAL Shares Experience with Cannabis and Sueing Mercedes
Photo Courtesy of Appreciate Denial

DENIAL’s “Shelf Medication” piece for Higher Occasions is not meant to recommend that folks are addicted to weed or overly obsessed with the world’s greatest weed media business. Alternatively, it is an expression of Bombardier’s private expertise with cannabis and the huge social movement that is embracing it, immediately after years of criminalization and denial, as a protected and productive medicine.

For at least a decade, Bombardier suffered from extreme insomnia. In spite of attempting every thing from sleeping tablets, particular pillows, sleep meds, Ambien and drinking any and every thing, nothing at all worked. “It’s the variety of thoughts I have. I just will not sleep,” he told Higher Occasions. He couldn’t fall asleep, and every thing he did to make it greater created him really feel even far more out of touch.

Bombardier had smoked weed ahead of, of course, but the stimulating, from time to time anxiousness-provoking response didn’t appear like it would enable him fall asleep. But then a buddy gave Bombardier some of his homemade weed oil. He attempted a tablespoon ahead of bed a single evening and—of course—it worked.

“I slept for nine hours for the initially time in more than 10 years! It was wonderful so I began taking the oil just about every evening ahead of bed and continued to sleep appropriately. I started to really feel younger and had 20 occasions far more power,” Bombardier told Higher Occasions.

For 4 years, Bombardier has been capable to treat his insomnia utilizing cannabis oil. Particularly, he utilizes oils derived from indica and hybrid strains. And when it comes to dose, it depends on the day. Typically, someplace amongst 10-20mg of THC is adequate to counteract the anxiousness of the day and let Bombardier sleep. From time to time, although, it requires 5 to 10 occasions that substantially.

“Sometimes it requires 100 mg to shut my crazy brain off.”

Cannabis “Can’t Assistance But Make You Additional Creative”

Artist DENIAL Shares Experience with Cannabis and Sueing Mercedes
Photo Courtesy of Appreciate Denial

But lastly having a excellent night’s sleep is not the only advantage Bombardier is enjoying from his bedtime dose of cannabis oil. He also says it aids his inventive procedure.

Appropriate ahead of he falls asleep, Bombardier says he normally gets concepts. So he writes them down. Seriously fascinating concepts, primarily based on other concepts. Cannabis, the artist says, aids him spin these concepts, get a new view on them, turn them into some thing else, connect them with some thing else.

But all of that is just a content coincidence. DENIAL does not consume cannabis particularly for the inventive procedure. Alternatively, it is far more of a “byproduct,” he says. Cannabis “can’t enable but make you far more inventive. It opens up inventive attitudes in people’s minds.”

“It’s sort of like LSD, but not as chemically effective. I can absolutely testify to the truth it changed the way I believe in a constructive and therapeutic way. Marijuana does that on a smaller sized, not so intense level,” Bombardier told Higher Occasions.

In between traveling the globe, operating on his ongoing No cost four All Walls project in Ontario, and finishing his personal mural art functions across Canada, the United States and elsewhere, DENIAL often finds himself up to some thing. But he and a cohort of fellow mural artists have also identified themselves embroiled in a legal battle with Mercedes-Benz. It is a case that has huge implications for artists whose perform exists in public spaces.

Legal Battles With Mercedes-Benz

It all began when Mercedes-Benz published a wide-reaching marketing campaign featuring photographs taken in Detroit against a background of murals developed by DENIAL and other artists. Each year, Detroit hosts a Murals in the Market place mural festival, and the mural perform artists have contributed to Detroit’s Eastern Market place have transformed the whole region. DENIAL tells the story of a developing he and other artists operating with Interstate Gallery and A single Time Run purchased for $300,000. 5 years and 150 murals later, that developing is now worth $three.five million.

But when Mercedes showed up to shoot its ads, it did nothing at all to compensate the mural artists whose public artworks graced the glossy pages of the mega-corporate ad campaign. In truth, Mercedes didn’t even acknowledge the very important perform of DENIAL and other artists did to revitalize the East Market place.

So DENIAL hired a lawyer and threatened to sue Mercedes unless they gave the artists some compensation for the perform they employed in the advertisements. In response, Mercedes sued them back, aiming to transform the copyright laws to make it probable for them to use representations of artists’ perform with out paying them. And “if they win,” Bombardier told Higher Occasions, “you could generate a mural and with out any permission a business could use it in a hemorrhoids ad.”

The lawsuit is at the moment pending in federal court in Detroit, exactly where Bombardier desires judges to dismiss it “because it is stupid.”

Higher Occasions asked about any upcoming projects. “I want to do Mercedes stuff,” mentioned DENIAL. “But my lawyer is at the moment advising me against it.”