Artist Andy Diaz Hope uses UV treatments on gelatin pill capsules to create his astounding pill mosaics. The diligent industrial designer begins the meticulous process by first digitally photographing locations and people and then inserting the imprints into the pills, piece by piece. Andy was kind enough to give us exclusive insight into his process: “The images are photographs that I print multiple times and then cut into a grid of squares which I roll and put into the capsules and press closed. The pills are then placed to recreate the image in a grid of capsules. The UV coatings are clear and used to preserve and protect the gelatin of the capsules.” The equally and neatly aligned pills are then encased within a frame to retain the image’s form. The amount of patience and effort put into Diaz Hope’s work is impressive, but, more than that, the series is a real eye-opener to the presence of drugs and their prevalence in our society, both legally and illegally.
The series, entitled Better Living, addresses drug culture and critiques pharmaceutical company practices. Medicinal drug corporations like DuPont have used questionable marketing tactics that guaranteed users of improvements to one’s life. DuPont’s ad slogan that ran from 1935 into the mid-80s read “Better Things for Better Living..Through Chemistry.” Diaz Hope’s series is titled in direct response to this slogan, drawing attention to the different lifestyles led by drug users. Each location in his shots has significance, whether it’s a hotspot for recreational teen drug use or the mental wing of a hospital.