02/03/2012 04:56 GMT | Updated 01/05/2012 06:12 BST

Artist Makes Whitney Houston Portrait Out Of Pills: What Do You Think?

Last month, the death of Whitney Houston sparked an outpouring of grief from her fans and tributes from famous figures – and now, it has inspired a controversial new artwork.

America-born Jason Mecier is a mosaic portrait artist who uses everyday items to build pictures of the stars.

One such series uses pills to depict famous figures who have struggled with drug abuse.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, he has made Houston his latest subject – but is he making an artistic statement, or simply ‘cashing in’ on the star’s death?

Speaking to The Huffington Post, Mecier defended his work against accusations of insensitivity.

“I agree they are sad, ironic and evocative. [But] I find these pieces more honest than disrespectful.

“I consider it a colorful tribute. I couldn't spend hours and days working on an art piece if I didn't care,” he said.

The pill portraits actually originated in the UK when Glamour magazine hired Mecier to create Michael Jackson, Heath Ledger, Courtney Love and Kelly Osbourne to illustrate an article about drug use in Hollywood.