My name is Ben Kurstin. I am a Chicago based Cinematographer/Photographer/Artist.



Over the course of 22 months I collected over 8800 drug bags from Humboldt Park in Chicago. This website is dedicated with the pieces I created from the discarded bags that I found.


I worked with both scans I created of the different designs as well as with wood and spray paint to create mosaics and collages as new multi-media pieces.


I walked a half mile through the park to the bus to go to work everyday and, along the way I would collect the bags that I could see. I found bags that still contained weed, cocaine, heroin, pills, crack, and meth. As well as used needles and spoons with burnt undersides.


My project is about how the "War on Drugs" has been a failure, how programs like D.A.R.E. although well intentioned have had the opposite effect as intended. As well as a commentary about the prison industrial complex where nearly half those locked up today in both Federal and State Prisons are there on drug charges.


By creating these pieces I am trying to bring attention to what most people don't look down and notice, not unlike the opioid crisis. 


The online shop is on the next page. I'm also looking for galleries to show both the prints and the physical pieces in. If you have any questions about the project or would like to partner with me please send me a message.


Thank you.

Gallery Shows

Casa Calle 20 - 1538 W. Cullerton    ~ Opening Oct 6th, 2017 - Close Oct 8th, 2017

Ignition Project - 3839 W. Grand Ave. Chicago Il 60651 ~ Opening June 2nd 6-9PM ~ Close June 30th 2018

WBEZ 91.5 Chicago - Art and Recovery: Images and Stories Through Addiction

Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art - 756 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago IL 60642 - October 16th 2019


Chicago IL 

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