Lauren Greenfield: Generation Wealth

A highly anticipated monograph from the internationally acclaimed documentary photographer and filmmaker

Lauren Greenfield, with a foreword by Juliet Schor


Price: USD$75.00

A highly anticipated monograph from the internationally acclaimed documentary photographer and filmmaker

Lauren Greenfield: Generation Wealth is both a retrospective and an investigation into the subject of wealth over the last twenty-five years. Greenfield has traveled the world - from Los Angeles to Moscow, Dubai to China - bearing witness to the global boom-and-bust economy and documenting its complicated consequences. Provoking serious reflection, this book is not about the rich, but about the desire to be wealthy, at any cost.

To find out more about Lauren Greenfield, her current exhibition and upcoming film, go to: Generation Wealth.


Format: Hardback
Size: 305 x 229 mm (12 x 9 in)
Pages: 504 pp
Illustrations: 625 illustrations
ISBN: 9780714872124

Lauren Greenfield is an Emmy-award-winning photographer and filmmaker. A preeminent chronicler of youth culture, gender, and consumerism, her documentary The Queen of Versailles won the Best Documentary Director Award at Sundance in 2012. Her photographs have been widely published, exhibited - and collected - and her Super Bowl commercial, Like a Girl, went viral and swept the advertising awards of 2015.

Juliet Schor is an author, economist, cultural critic, and professor of sociology at Boston College. Her research focuses on the economics of work, spending, the environment, and consumer culture.

Trudy Wilner Stack was Curator of Exhibitions & Collections at the Center for Creative Photography, the University of Arizona for over a decade, after holding positions at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the International Center of Photography, and the Birmingham Museum of Art. She has curated dozens of exhibitions of contemporary and historical photography around the world, and is a frequent contributing author and lecturer.

Lucie Award for "Best Book Photographer of the Year", 2017

"For nearly three decades, Greenfield has been meticulously documenting wealth…[her] ongoing examination of wealth feels more urgent than ever." —Artsy

"This hefty compendium of consumer culture and status anxiety is hard to sum up. It is as exhaustive and eye-catching as human folly itself." —Bookforum

"Greenfield and her camera have captured the glittering and grim elements of a society fixated on conspicuous consumption." —Quartz

"Generation Wealth is a comprehensive study of excess and evolution. Revolting and revelatory, sobering and stunning. Lauren Greenfield is the Doris Kearns Goodwin of the visual medium." —Jamie Lee Curtis

"Lauren Greenfield's photographs range from hilarious to terrifying, sometimes in the same image. The images are unjudgemental – dystopian shock and awe somewhere at the end of Empire – and yet moving: she makes it personal. It could have been me." —Brian Eno

"Greenfield is a prodigious talent, and this book is a masterpiece. If I had the privilege of putting together the time capsule left underground for future generations, I am certain that Generation Wealth would be in the box." —Juliet Schor

"Generation Wealth takes us down the yellow brick road where we are able to see who we, as a collective, are becoming. Like Studs Terkel with a camera, Greenfield's lens allows us to watch the transmogrification of the American Dream of success through hard work, modesty and discipline turn into a nightmare of conspicuous wealth, excess and addiction... Whether the photographs are humorous, heart-wrenching or both we never feel judgement, just observation and that observation gives us room to know we are all complicit in varying degrees." —Jennifer Beals

"A staggering indictment of materialism." —Smithsonian

"[Greenfield] treats her subjects as individuals, but her work derives its greatest power from its ability to succinctly and enthrallingly chart a larger national story. All that glitters is not gold." —Brooklyn Rail

"With a golden cover and 650-odd images inside, [Generation Wealth] is a sociological record of the extreme measures taken to acquire and spend money, what Greenfield calls "the influence of affluence." —The New York Times

"[A]n anthropological deep-dive into the way the very idea of wealth has infected the human psyche globally." —Los Angeles Times

"It is an artist's special privilege to gain access to the world of the rich - and one of her noblest callings is to show the rest of us what that looks like, how money functions, how the system works. It's hard to think of anyone who does it with as much diligence as Greenfield."—The Times Magazine

"Generation Wealth, the forthcoming coffee-table book by brilliant photographer Lauren Greenfield... A tragicomic catalogue of material excess across the globe."—The Times

"If Mark Twain said that the lack of money is the root of all evil, what is the presence of money? An excess, overabundance, surfeit of money? Money leaking out of every pore? Grotesque, effulgent amounts of money? When I think of money, I think of the possibility of being left alone with my own thoughts and dwindling abilities to concentrate on something. I don't necessarily think of throne rooms, peacock feathers, gilded Corinthian columns, barstools covered with whale scrota. Lauren Greenfield's Queen of Versailles taught me a simple principle: Never allow yourself to be photographed on your throne (even though I don't think there's much danger of that, for me). Her new magnum opus, Generation Wealth, takes us into a new Dantesque version of hell. Not the devil frozen in his own tears. But perhaps something worse. A wilderness of bad taste. If nothing exceeds like excess, here we have a set of powerful examples. It's as if we suddenly realized that Donald Trump is the decorator of the world."—Errol Morris

"From Bel Air to Beijing, Lauren Greenfield has an unparalleled gift for capturing modern wealth in all its baroque permutations. Her images are viscerally intimate-sometimes comic, sometimes tragic, and always unforgettable. Generation Wealth is that rare masterpiece that will keep you engrossed from cover to cover and lingering on the memory of its images long after you've put it down." —Kevin Kwan, bestselling author of Crazy Rich Asians

"A master class in dramatic irony."—ARTFORUM

"Through Greenfield's lens, the accumulation of wealth comes off more as a destructive addiction than a path to self-improvement. She shoots like a documentarian, both empathetic and non-judgmental when confronted with women who use plastic surgery to cope with family strife, or with white collar criminals." —Bloomberg Pursuits

"Offers a gold-encrusted portrait of our time." —Huffington Post

"Over the last 25 years, Greenfield, who is as much sociologist as photographer, has turned her camera on every imaginable expression of wealth and, as such, is uniquely qualified to comment on our increasingly off-the-rails obsession with affluence. —FastCompany

"Film-maker Lauren Greenfield has spent 25 years documenting our global obsession with money. The result is a fascinating insight across 17 countries into the highs and devastating lows it can bring."—Marie-Claire

"Appropriately enough, photographer Lauren Greenfield's new book, Generational Wealth, is an embarrassment of riches... Greenfield actually talks to her subjects and unearths telling tidbits about them: like the fact that one Russian businessman owns 7,000 frog-themed art works... This is a book that more than earns its keep."—Esquire

"An incredible visual record of society's rampant materialism and our growing obsession with status, fame and wealth... Includes an excellent essay from sociologist Juliet Schor, who maintains that Keeping Up with the Joneses has today become Keeping Up with the Kardashians and who suggests that the "aspirational gap" between what we want and what we can afford has dramatically widened... Generation Wealth holds the mirror and the magnifying glass up to Western society's fetishisation of money."—Amuse-i-d.vice.com

"Lauren's exhaustive research and dedication places the photographer as an outsider on the inside. Generation Wealth is an exhaustive and giddy document of the zenith of consumer culture, where reality and fantasy merge and people will spend vast sums to shape themselves and the world into their vision. It's terrifying, fascinating, entertaining and heart-breaking."—ItsNiceThat.com

"Brilliantly gaudy photos... A gorgeous tome... An enlightening portrait of America, presenting a magpie's dream of glitter and gaudiness that delineates cultural shifts as much as stylistic trends."—CreativeBoom.com

"Greenfield turns the gods of capitalism into humans, then places them next to their worshipers."—Hyperallergic

"With 650 images and 150 first person interviews, this is a blockbuster narrative, cumulating in a troubling view on the pursuit of money, status, beauty and fame."—Wallpaper.com

"Greenfield's portraits are fiercely memorable... While the worlds she presents are often gaudy or extreme, the pictures never feel exploitative. There's a respect for her subjects."—Professional Photography

"The rich are always with us. But Greenfield has found something new to say about them... Her camera records the symptoms of the age of consumption... Do Illona and her daughter want to be envied? Or rescued?... They seem to far way to ask."—Newsweek

"A no-holds-barred history of consumerism and our insatiable desire for riches... Through Greenfield's uncompromising and revealing lens we witness the ups and downs of a culture driven to desperation by needing to appear to be a certain way at seemingly any cost... Generation Wealth is something of a morality tale in that the stories of longing, pain and loneliness confirm that chasing money and goods doesn't make us happy, says Greenfield."—AnOtherMag.com

"Documents 25 years of rampant global materialism."—TheGuardian.com

"An extraordinary visual record."—YahooFinanceUK

"Greenfield began taking photographs of wealthy teenagers in LA in the early 1990s, when their lavish 'limos and labels' lifestyle seemed ludicrous. But her observations of their self-regarding excesses turned out to be prophetic, as reality TV and social media turned narcissism and conspicuous consumption into a dominant global culture... Greenfield sifted through half a million images and conducted 500 interviews in order to chart this profound ideological shift towards the worship of money and fame."—(Independent) I

"As a reader, diving into the book is initially a salacious, voyeuristic experience, especially as Greenfield accompanies the images with interviews with the protagonists, who recount fascinating and emotionally candid tales of excessive, extreme lives. It might be easy to think that the subjects featured bear no relation to life outside the super-rich bubble, but over the course of the book, Greenfield forces the reader to examine their own place within this new cultural order. For it is her belief that we are all affected by it, no matter how different our lives may seem."—CreativeReview.com

"The most fascinating publication to provide answers for how Trump ended up in the White House."—National Post

"Greenfield, with beauty and artistry, reveals what we as a society have come to value-and it's not morality."—Artspace

"The epic saga about extreme affluence (and its discontents)."—W Magazine

"Documents one of the hot-button topics of our time: wealth. Anyone who saw Greenfield's documentary The Queen of Versailles will have a good idea of what to expect from this collection... We find ourselves in the company of individuals immersed in the worlds of beauty pageants, consumerism, materialism, business and politics. Crucially, Greenfield's approach is not judgemental … It's difficult not to feel as though you are at times witnessing another version of the world, one that is almost overwhelming in its hyperreality. This could one of the most important photography books of the year."—Amateur Photographer

"Captivating... Filled with Greenfield's brightly lit colour images exploring conspicuous consumption around the world... Greenfield highlights these gaudy excesses and shows how they influence the aspirations of less wealthy people to emulate them... The photographs are complemented with first-hand accounts from the people in the images... Greenfield has clearly gained the confidence of the people she is photographing, but has a knack for capturing the key details and tell-tale expressions that reveal much more than the subjects realise. Disturbing and occasionally stomach churning, Generation Wealth is a powerful and timely critique of values and attitudes held by many people today."—The RPS (Royal Photographic Society)

"Captivating... [Generation Wealth] is about wealth and its corruptive powers... Its images lay bare the lengths to which humans will go to appear stinking rich. And, as Generation Wealth proves, riches really can stink."—ShortList

"Extraordinary encounters in a boom-and-bust world."—Delayed Gratification

"A great name for an even better book... With sumptuous images of sleek, beautifully designed houses… this book will inspire any reader to cut the clutter and bid adieu to the bling."—Hong Kong Tatler

"Welcome to Mammon’s little darlings... Mesmerizingly captured by the renowned photographer and director of The Queen of Versailles... Coupled with fascinating interviews, her book is a glorious photo-monument to a culture in which everyone has a price tag and to a new world order where there is no morality but money."—Tatler

"[A] five-hundred-page doorstopper wrapped in a sensationally gilded jacket."—Art in America

"Generation Wealth is a sobering look at what lengths people will go to, essentially, attain self-worth through external means. But on the surface, it is a extraordinary visual record of rampant materialism and our growing global obsession with wealth."—Medium

"Greenfield's images are often documentary in nature, hers an unobtrusive but perceptive eye."—New Yorker Online

"Money has always mattered to people, but Greenfield's book seems to show that it has become one of the world's reigning virtues."—Refinery29

"Greenfield is an acute observer of consumer culture, and her photographic chronicle of its excesses and the many rivulets that feed into it make for a compelling read... As a document of modern times it is undoubtedly valuable... Few photobooks but the best to manage to evoke disgust, sadness, hope and reflection." —Glass

"...What makes Greenfield's photographs multilayered, sensitive, and fascinating—and carries them beyond a single-minded morality tale—is her understanding that people's relationships with things in this lurid world are pleasurable and miserable both."—Artforum

"...Her work may center around figures like the Kardashians, but it's not them she's interested in; she's more fascinated by their effect on the nonfamous."—W Online

"Greenfield documents our wealth obsession... and investigates the dark aftermath of excessive money-lust."—Marie Claire (Australia)

"Lauren Greenfield's ambitious new book, Generation Wealth, showcases her chronicling of the lifestyles of the rich and famous over the last 20 years."—The New York Times Book Review

"[Greenfield's] 504-page opus about what wealth looks like in America and around the world."—New York Magazine Online

"While the subjects of Greenfield's book might seem tightly enclosed within the super-rich bubble, the photographer forces the reader to examine their own place within the culture. In a way, Greenfield's pictures read like a visual history that ends with one man: Trump." —Creativereview.co.uk

"Wielding her camera with a mixture of compassion and contempt and ruthless wit, [Greenfield] tells an old story of the victory of money over virtue... A timely morality tale, fraught with ambivalence and empathy, implicating the photographer, her subjects, and rest of us at the same time." —Financial Times, Collecting

"Lauren Greenfield's ambitious new book, Generation Wealth, showcases her chronicling of the lifestyles of the rich and famous over the last 20 years." —New York Times Book Review

"The perfect, pointed gift for a photography loving but demanding teen... Fascinating." —The Times, Saturday Review

"Generation Wealth a lavish new monograph by Lauren Greenfield, traces the moral decline of the rich and famous over the last two decades." —New York Times

"Lauren Greenfield, an incisive oracle who issues her findings in photographs and films, has spent 25 years inveighing against the corrupting power of wealth." —Financial Times

"Named #1 of top 5 "Best Photography Books of 2017" - The perfect, pointed gift for a photography-loving but demanding teenager, Emmy-winner Lauren Greenfield's lavish book, 25 years in production, explores our obsession with wealth." —The Times

"An examination of how wealth and consumerism has changed society, Lauren Greenfield's Generation Wealth had a particular resonance in the year that Donald Trump became US President... Running to over 600 pages of glossy, glamorous photographs, it might initially appear to be another luxury coffee table book. Yet its subject matter is far more urgent than that... The book is littered with scenes of bling, though its shininess conceals a more uncomfortable reality, told via interviews with the subjects featured in the photographs... The book is fascinating, almost voyeuristically so, in part because the scenes on show are so extreme. Yet Greenfield asserts that its themes affect us all, no matter what our personal wealth and status may be." —CreativeReview.co.uk

"This body of work is extraordinary, fascinating, and an almost anthropological look at the ways in which wealth and status are displayed." —Library Journal

"Greenfield's raw material, materialism, is candy-colored and stimulating." —New York Review of Books Online

"Greenfield seems compelled to offer some all-encompassing take-away, as if there could be a single lesson that summarizes what she has seen over such a provocative and complex career, apart from the obvious one: you really should buy her book." —Variety

"For nearly three decades, Greenfield has been meticulously documenting wealth…[her] ongoing examination of wealth feels more urgent than ever." —Artsy

"This hefty compendium of consumer culture and status anxiety is hard to sum up. It is as exhaustive and eye-catching as human folly itself." —Bookforum

"Greenfield and her camera have captured the glittering and grim elements of a society fixated on conspicuous consumption." —Quartz

"Generation Wealth is a comprehensive study of excess and evolution. Revolting and revelatory, sobering and stunning. Lauren Greenfield is the Doris Kearns Goodwin of the visual medium." —Jamie Lee Curtis



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