Baptiste Lignel

Baptiste Lignel, Cash from Pop Pills

Baptiste Lignel, Cash from Pop Pills

about the work

Over a 6 year period, Baptiste Lignel tracked the progress of nine children with an array of pathologies (anxiety, OCD, depression, and, of course, ADHD) putting their diagnoses and prescriptions into perspective.

Portraits and interviews constitute the heart of the book and allow readers to get a sense of each individual’s journey dealing with his or her mental health challenges. Some of the children stop taking medication, some take more, some add marijuana to the mix, etc…

This project combines Mr. Lignel’s photography with elements from popular culture and social media, which bring additional voices to the narrative and broaden its scope.

Two additional sections take viewers to Mississippi and Colorado. In Biloxi, a 7 year old boy struggles with a severe case of ADHD. Four generations of his family live under one roof, united around his pathology despite a dire social context. The Boulder story provides a glimpse of how ADHD medications can be used on a college campus, with and without prescriptions, for academic purposes as well as for entertainment.

This unique project casts an unflinching eye on many facets of an extremely complex topic, all too often simplified and stigmatized by the media. 

about the artist

Born in 1974, Baptiste Lignel starts photographing at age 14. After studying History for two years in Paris, he moves to New York and studies at Parsons School of Design where he will get a Bachelor of Fine Arts, with honours, as a photo major. He studied with Ben Fernandez, Arlene Colleens, Charles Harbutt and Vincent Cianni. He interned with Magnum photographer Susan Meseilas who has been a major influence in the evolution of his understanding of photography over the years.

Back in France he was an Art Director for an advertising agency (Ogilvy) for a few years, before dedicating himself solely to photography. He then co founded the photography cooperative Otra Vista. His focus in on social documentaries, with stories such as “Single fathers of 30”, “Traditional prostitutes of the Saint Denis Street”, the mainstreaming of children with Down syndrome (“Down and integrated”), or the medicating of teenagers for behavior issues (“Pop Pillls”, now published by Dewi Lewis).

With Otra Vista as a toolbox he has become an editor since 2010, both of prints and of photo books. He recently launched the book collection “Photographers’ References”, each title being an in depth interview of a well established photographer. Issue #1 was on the work of David Goldblatt, and #2 was about Richard Misrach.


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