Burgandy Viscosi has over two decades of experience developing beautifully vivid paintings designed to awaken humanity to our collective consciousness. While she displays most of her work at her art gallery in Seattle, Washington, she also has painted many murals at various local businesses and has some featured at John F. Kennedy International Airport and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
Every artist has an origin story, and Viscosi’s is a powerful one. Following the events of a devastating car accident when she was only 20 years old, Viscosi was unconscious for at least 10 hours. During this time, she witnessed visions that eventually became a potent source of inspiration for her art.
“I had so much information [after the accident], I feel like most of the workings of the universe were answered, and then [I was] just trying to figure out how to translate that into information that I could gift to the world,” she explains. “My body was pretty demolished, but my arms and hands were fine. That’s really when I started painting, and then I never really looked back. I just kept painting. It helped heal me, and then I just was devoted to it from that point on.”
One main theme of the vision she received is still an inspiration across many of her paintings.
“Kind of the universal nature of reality—just kind of a matrix of all existing beings connected to each other was so prominent in my original vision,” Viscosi says.
Other influences come from frequent meditation and her current surroundings at home or while traveling.
Cannabis also plays a part in the early stages of her creative process, especially when she begins to imagine the layout of a new piece or determine where certain elements should go. Viscosi says tinctures are her consumption method of choice, whether she’s doing yoga and meditating or working through how to tie certain elements together in her work.
“Cannabis is a great activator to kind of switch perspective so that I can see maybe a different angle of how these things can actually be incorporated or different transitions,” she says. “I love it for transitionary ideas.”
Viscosi’s paintings are brilliantly colored with a wide variety of detailed patterns such as honeycombs and geometric forms, often featuring humans and animals, but there’s also a separate layer of the viewing experience that can only be seen through special glasses.
“I use a technology—it’s not the classic 3D glasses, so if you try those, it’s not going to work—they’re called Chroma Depth,” Viscosi explains. “And I use a color theory (the science and art of how we perceive color and the visual effects of how colors mix, match or contrast with each other) with these. What they do is they put the spectrum in order. And what I do is I place things in certain ways in certain colors and [the glasses] provide depth.”
Chroma Depth was initially created for 3D websites, but Viscosi uses it to give her paintings additional depth.
“3D websites were a thing for a moment, and the glasses were created for them. When you design these websites, you use a certain color theory in designing them. And that’s what will make it 3D, right?” she says. “So it’s just me using that same color theory. And because I paint so vividly, it registers the same as a computer screen because I put sharp colors next to sharp colors.”
The result is a one-of-a-kind experience for those who stop by her gallery, where they see her colorful displays come to life through a new lens.
“When people come in the gallery, I give them the glasses, and then I do a light show,” she says. “So they full-on have a psychedelic experience, [and] I’m able to, like, microdose people basically. It’s really interesting to watch people from all walks of life come in. At first, they’re super nervous, and they’re like, ‘Oh, I don’t know if this is my thing.’ But if I can get the glasses on them, the moment of suspended belief is amazing because humans just turn into children. They’re just like, ‘Oh, my gosh, how is this happening?”’
Viscosi is the former art director for a Seattle-based cannabis company called Leaph. Although the business is no longer in operation, she helped feature a variety of artists across the globe on Leaph’s packaging. She has also become well-known in the surrounding Seattle area for promoting the local art and cannabis industries, where she has designed art for the packaging of Mobius infused cannabis drinks and has contributed to Art Cannabis, which strives to promote local artists and cannabis in Washington state.
This story was originally published in the September 2022 issue of High Times Magazine.