Graham MacIndoe

Interview with Graham MacIndoe by Street Level Gallery, Glasgow 16/7/20

Graham gave a long discussion about his background and his work. In summary:

  • Born in Scotland but now works as an associate university professor of photography in America.
  • Early influences were punk rock, protest music and protests against racism (late 70’s, early 80’s)
  • Initially studied painting at Edinburgh Art College
  • Started taking photos on a trip to New York and has never stopped since, carries his camera everywhere he goes
  • Went to Ireland and photo’d a horse fair (recently released on Café Royal
  • Likes being both in the middle of the action and finding the quiet places on the outskirts
  • Always been intrigued by people, the expressions on their faces, the weird moments
  • Initially not interested in commercial work but got involved with it – money – drugs – Coming Clean & Chancers, dicussed at length in Coming Clean
  • Took pictures throughout drug scene but doesn’t show the pictures he took of other people – ethical dilemma
  • Just take the pictures – put them away – may make sense later and fit with others to make a piece of work
  • Early pics are relevant to your life, chunks are missing, but use what you have
  • Went to concerts, got backstage passes, now works a lot with band The National.
  • Interested in running – so takes pics of that
  • Protest photography ongoing – been involved since early days – feels that most of the images should come from the Black photographers
  • Racism/ colonisation/slavery/poverty/injustice/incarceration needs to be addressed
  • Quoted Robert Frank – black and white are the colours of hope and despair
  • Documentary – are we overwhelmed by all the images. Much is just wallpaper. Need to engage – but how much effect does it really have
  • Everybody lives in their own bubbles
© Graham MacIndoe

Suggested photographers to look at:

  • Kirsty MacKay
  • Matt Black
  • Neil Greer
  • Disturb (?)


  • If you are passionate you will get there
  • Make pictures all the time
  • Just keep on shooting
  • Engage with the world to find out how your personal trauma fits in
  • Who are you making things for?
  • What’s the takeaway?
  • You want people to think about what you have done

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