The dark world of heroin addiction has been the subject of award-winning photography before — LIFE magazine photographer Bill Eppridge’s gripping photo essay about two heroin addicts is as enthralling now as it ever was — but photographer Graham MacIndoe‘s series is different… because he was both the photographer and the subject.
MacIndoe — now clean for several years — shared all of the harrowing details with New York Magazine reporter and girlfriend Susan Stellin, who broke up with him over his drug addiction years ago only to later stumble across 342 self-portraits that she was not meant to see.
Both offer their insights into these images, with MacIndoe explaining how the project came to be one day when he caught his reflection in a bathroom mirror, and Stellin summing up the photographs perhaps better than anybody else could when she writes:
I think we do need to see it, and try to understand addiction from the inside, as Graham describes what he wanted to show. Not the view of an outsider, but a first-person account of the isolating, all-consuming nature of addiction.
No one else is in the pictures; drugs have replaced everyone and everything that used to matter.
MacIndoe was kind enough to provide us with the few images you see here, but if you’d like to find our more or see more self-portraits from the series, be sure to visit the New York Magazine article by following the link below.
My Addiction, Through My Eyes [New York Magazine]
Image credits: Photographs by Graham MacIndoe and used with permission