Who are the American Originals? They are photographer William Abranowicz’s pantheon of extraordinary subjects—artists, poets, rock stars, designers, heirs and heiresses, tastemakers, architects, designers—for whom the home represents the ultimate canvas of self-expression. In this lavish volume of more than 225 photographs, including many never-before-published images, Abranowicz invites us into the private spaces of extraordinary and fiercely authentic individuals, as seen through his inimitable eye.
Whether he’s capturing the cathedral-like quality of natural light in a New York City loft or taking readers to a rock ’n’ roll icon’s remote Gothic mansion on an otherwise deserted island, Abranowicz’s classical sensibility for light, form, and composition mingles with his innate curiosity and sense of humor, producing stunning, unconventional portraits of the living spaces and workplaces of larger-than-life Americans and European expats.
The images feature the homes of Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, Bette Midler and Martin von Haselberg, John Mellencamp, John Derian, Frederico de Vera, Jeffrey Bilhuber, Robert Couturier, Linda Rodin, Cliff Fong, Mayer Rus, and many more. The text recounts Abranowicz’s personal interactions with his subjects and their homes, and muses on voyeurism, decoration, and honesty in design.
Meticulously crafted and lavishly produced, American Originals is a profound meditation on the interaction between people, place, and space by one of the world’s great working photographers. It is sure to be an essential source of inspiration not only for decorating and interior design but also for ways of living authentically and creatively in the modern world.
William Abranowicz has been a photographer for nearly forty years. His work is found in collections throughout the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution, the National Portrait Gallery in London, the Getty Museum, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Menil Collection Library, Bibliothèque Nationale, the International Center of Photography, and the Museum of Art at RISD. His work has appeared in nearly every major publication in the United States, Europe, and Asia. He served as a contributing photographer to Condé Nast Traveler for twenty-five years and has created campaigns for brands such as American Express Platinum Card, Rolex, Ralph Lauren, Estée Lauder, Eddie Bauer, Orvis, Old Navy, and Target. He is a master printer and has worked with the negatives of Edward Steichen, Horst P. Horst, George Hoyningen-Huene, Mike Disfarmer, and George Tice. Along with his son, Zander, and daughter, Max, Abranowicz is a licensed falconer. He is an avid environmentalist engaged in water, land, and climate issues nationally and locally. Abranowicz lives in Bedford, New York, with his wife, Andrea Raisfeld.
Zander Abranowicz, William’s son and frequent collaborator, is a writer and editor for the design firm Athletics. He contributes regularly to Travel & Leisure and Elle Decor. He is a licensed falconer and lives in New York City.
John Derian is a découpage artist, home décor dealer, and author of John Derian Picture Book.
A terrific book. . . . something wonderful on every page.
It’s the coffee table book to end it all.
. . . [B]e prepared to redefine your idea of creative spaces—these are the real deal.
In capturing the everyday moments of domesticity—the arrangement of objects on kitchen shelves, the creative clutter of an artist’s house and studio and the stillness of a living room with a dog asleep on the sofa—Bill Abranowicz’s photographs tell a story about the lives of the people who live in these spaces. And in them, we see our stories, too.
The photographer, long noted for his talent for capturing the essence of rooms and their occupants, has seen a lot and documented a lot. In this new book, Abranowicz focus his lens on the places where poets, rock stars, designers, tastemakers, politicians, and other celebrities live. We see how these luminaries express themselves and their creativity in their rooms.
The photographer William Abranowicz has certainly captured his fair share of these interiors in his 40-year-long career, but he’s also managed to stumble across some genuinely striking homes (which often still belong to celebrities) that manage to express something warmly personal about their owners. He’s compiled these interiors into American Originals.
To each interior he applies his loving attention and supreme mastery of light, resulting in a book that is a unique compendium of artistry and personality.