School of Art, Media, and Technology

Part-time Faculty Graham Macindoe with Upcoming Book Signing & Exhibition in LA

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MacIndoe - All In_1Little Big Man Gallery is proud to present All In – Buying Into the Drug Trade by photographer Graham MacIndoe, on view from September 20th to October 31st. This will be MacIndoe’s first solo exhibition in the U.S., also celebrating the release of a limited edition book by Little Big Man Books.

Each image from All In is a variation on a single object: a small glassine heroin bag stamped with an exotic or bleakly satirical brand name, all collected by MacIndoe when he was an addict. Enterprising dealers brand and market their product like entrepreneurs in any business, with references to popular culture – Twilight, Crooklyn, New Jack City – and nods to consumer aspirations – First Class, Rolex, Obsession.

In the introduction to MacIndoe’s book, Guardian writer Sean O’Hagan quotes Warren Buffet: “Your premium brand had better deliver something special, or it is not going to get the business.” So what other product could be branded as “Toxic” or “Killa” and still sell?

As All In so starkly illustrates, the addict becomes the ultimate consumer, following a trail of quirky street names carefully chosen to be instantly recognizable to those in the know. The logos stamped on the baggies range from the conceptually clever – scissors splicing the word “Uncut” – to the knowingly ominous, like “Dead Medicine” paired with a skull and crossbones.

MacIndoe’s own obsessive nature – underscores the repetition of the images, all perfectly lit and precisely composed. But the now empty baggies are devoid of the emotional chaos of addiction; the photos are clinical and detached, almost aestheticized, yet still carry the residue of a former life in their stains and ragged edges.

Born in Scotland, MacIndoe studied painting at Edinburgh College of Art and received a master’s degree in photography at the Royal College of Art in London. After moving to New York, he worked for publications including The Guardian, I.D., W Magazine and The New York Times Magazine. His photographs are in many private and public collections including Scotland’s National Portrait Gallery, the V&A Museum in London, the British Museum of Film and Television and the British Council. He is an adjunct professor of photography in the School of Art, Media and Technology at Parsons The New School in New York City.

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