Artist Headshot: Angus Rowe MacPherson

Angus Rowe MacPherson

Toronto, ON
1978, Iqaluit, NU

Angus Rowe MacPherson was born and raised in the tundra of the Canadian high arctic.  At age 11, he built a darkroom – commandeering one of the household bathrooms so that he could print photos of the world around him - and has been taking pictures ever since.  He attended the University of Toronto before spending some years in London and Tokyo then settling back in Toronto.  There, he worked briefly for a very successful advertising photographer, and quickly set out on his own. Since then, he has been shooting for advertising and entertainment clients, while continuing to work on his artistic photographic projects. Recent projects include a large-scale study of independent wrestlers (shot in Florida, Northern Ontario, Texas, and Kentucky), portraits of Canada's most prominent drag queens, and highly artificial, stylized explorations of banal daily life. Current projects are top-secret, but may include deer, riots, and an unnecessarily complicated machine.

I explore banal and mundane activities - mowing lawns, serving dinner, fishing - using highly cinematic methods. Each individual image is meticulously composed, elevating ordinary subjects into iconic status. These are deliberate and artificially elaborate  environments - the characters are carefully cast, stylized and lit, and the landscape around them is carefully constructed (you'll see fog machines, elaborate sets and props, and at least one fake ham). The resulting scenes are from an alternate universe. It is very similar to ours, but slightly surreal, grotesque, beautiful and darkly funny. The characters communicate very real emotions; they are variously obsessed, isolated, frantic, preening, proud, confused, and desperate for acceptance.

Hunting and Fishing are part of a larger series I've been working on of preposterously iconic images of people doing mundane things.  Both of these photographs were shot on a farm about 150 km north of Toronto, on an alarmingly cold day in May. It actually snowed while we were shooting, which was especially fun when I was waist deep in pond water.  However, it did lend a certain sense of stillness to the set.  That, along with the fog machines operated by my assistants, cemented the atmosphere of the iconic great outdoors.

Selected Group Exhibitions

Masters of Photography, touring exhibition:
Cornwall House, Hong Kong
DASK Gallery, Copenhagen
MILK Studio, New York
Primo, London

Drawn to Develop 2, The Fermenting Cellar, Toronto

Drawn to Develop, The Fermenting Cellar, Toronto

Generated Habitats, Toronto, pop-up gallery at 2-1022 Queen Street W

Trans Tokyo, Propeller Gallery, Toronto
Trans Tokyo, The Big Studio Gallery, Yokohama, Japan
inSIDEoutSIDEupSIDEdown, Design Festa Gallery, Tokyo

The latent image research project, Design Festa 17, Tokyo

Selected Advertising Clients

Covenant House - national outdoor and print campaign
Financial Post  - infoworks campaign
Rogers - DM piece
Scotiabank - Latin American & Caribbean brand launch
Toronto Maple Leafs Hockey - brand and national print/outdoor materials

Canadian Tire - national print campaign
Hyundai (2006/2007) -  various print
Molson Coors - online
OLG - rebrand and online materials
The Score Television - national outdoor, print, DM campaign
SickKids Hospital - international recruiting campaign
World Vision - national outdoor and print campaign
Wrigley - national outdoor campaign

The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) - provincial outdoor campaign
TD Canada Trust -  national print campaign

Harry Rosen - print campaign


Flash Forward: A Magenta Foundation publication showcasing photographers from Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States.
SuperCreative09 - winner
Hasselblad Masters finalist

Applied Arts Sports
Applied Arts Nature
Applied Arts Fashion

Marketing out-of-home

Selected Publications

online editorial features:
Gradient Magazine

May, HMaB, “Supercreative09”, interview
August, The British Journal of Photography, “In from the cold” cover feature

Jan/Feb, Applied Arts “Young Blood” Feature

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