Mourners & Melancholy: How Drug Addiction Impacts the Living

The tragedy associated with addiction leaves its mark on those who are left living. But what kind of life is it when grief snowballs into melancholy because of addiction’s unforgiving hold and the ensuing senseless death? The following visual art series details the melancholy created by opioid addiction. The images detail a mourner weeping due to the loss of a friend.

The Wake

This painting depicts a mourner at a wake for a friend who has past away do to dug addiction.

Sheriff Lost

This painting shows the drug user before passing away from an overdose.


This painting depicts death-like melancholy and sleepless nights before the funeral.

Artistic Approach

Canadian artist Robbie Gallows is a painter using Street Art and Expressionism to transform life experiences into visual poetry. He explores the unlimited potentiality of color and atmospheric visual planes and volume within a two-dimensional framework. Viewing his dynamic work is an exciting experience of counter-culture within the streets. Robbie graduated from the Emily Carr University of Art and Design and is working as a professional artist.

Robbie Gallows longs for the old days of dingy smoke-filled clubs and punk rock. He looks around back alleys to seek the color of the shadows from the past and the different greens of a brilliant new generation. When he gets ready to paint, he just closes his eyes and imagines a scene. He’ll get an inspiration and start painting; then, he’ll forget everything, everything except how things used to be and how to paint it so people will know how we used to live. Punk’s not dead, it’s evolved. 

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