RIO DE JANEIRO – A Brazilian painter is making an art out of smoking pot.
At his studio in Rio de Janeiro on Monday, Fernando de la Rocque (pronounced hockey) took a deep drag on a marijuana joint and blew onto a stencil overlaying paper. After several puffs an image began to appear — a golden-hued version of "Ecstasy of Saint Teresa" by Italian sculptor Giovanni Lorenzo.
Smoking marijuana is illegal in Brazil, but some of Rocque's pot-stained prints are selling for $2,500 each. A show featuring the work opened last week at an alternative gallery in Rio's stylish Ipanema neighborhood.
The 32-year-old Rocque says he stumbled on his toking technique in 2009.
It takes him a week to do a single print — blowing about five joints of smoke onto a paper daily.