Read an Excerpt
As my ten-year anniversary of living and working in the United States approached, I began to feel nostalgic. I thought about the diverse, wonderful people I have photographed and the artistic environments they have built for themselves, and that became the spark of inspiration for this book.
The Art of Living introduces you to twenty-ﬁve unique homes; the book also tells twenty-ﬁve individual stories about their occupants. Artists, fashion designers, gallery owners, collectors, and one resourceful farmer express their personalities, idiosyncrasies, and creativity through their surroundings. I feel fortunate to have met them. They have inspired my own work and enriched my life.
I felt honored to spend a day with Ellsworth Kelly in Spencertown, New York. I learned so much about his work and his aesthetic. His partner prepared a delicious lunch, and we drank Ellsworth's favorite wine, Pouilly-Fuissé, while he reminisced about his time in Paris.
The fashion designer Catherine Malandrino was at the beginning of her career when I ﬁrst met her and her husband, Bernard Aiden. At that time, I was fascinated by her eclectic mix of French bohemian elegance and urban New York chic, and to this day I continue to adore her.
Randolph Duke's house in the Hollywood hills with its breathtaking view of Los Angeles, its modern aesthetic, and unbelievably pleasant quality of life instantly became my dream home. When all the sliding glass doors were opened, I felt close to nature. While I was taking pictures I thought about how much I would love to live in a place like his.
Most surprising was my visit to the home of the artist Andres Serrano. His triplex in the West Village is ﬁlled with religious artifacts. Looking at the cruciﬁxes, statues of saints, and pews all around me, I felt I had stepped into a medieval church in the center of Manhattan. It was an unsettling feeling that made me want to bring the photo shoot to an end quickly. When I returned for another shoot later, I came to understand the artist's personal reasons for having become such an obsessive collector. Today Andres Serrano is one of my best friends. I love him dearly.
I am profoundly grateful for the time I have spent in the U.S. and for the people I have met. They opened their homes to me and let me photograph their worlds. I cherish these experiences and hope to give you the same sense of wonder and admiration I felt when seeing these homes for the ﬁrst time.