For those who’ve chosen to worship high art over organized religion, the studio is church: a sanctimonious place of dedication to the spirit within. Dedicating the last 20-plus years to visiting those sanctuaries and the characters who inhabit them, Paul Barbera presents the workspaces of 32 creative types, spotlighting the interdependent relationship between the studio environment, the art, and the artist. Where they Create acts as a tour guide through these hallowed grounds, exposing a finite universe of disarray, in studios of such luminaries as artist Olaf Breuning, designers/store owners Opening Ceremony, and creative communications agency KesselsKramer.
Following the current blog-into-book publishing trend, Frame Publishers are betting the smart money by turning photo blogs like wheretheycreate.com into photo books and cashing in on an idea with a built-in following. While this kind of thinking may be based in corporate philosophy, the product is no less engaging. Photos of handmade bookcases brimming with art books (kinda like this one), scruffy dogs, floor-to-ceiling windows, piles of loose paper, and buckets of paint—all the archetypal images you imagine a proper atelier might house—add up to a bird’s eye view of what is going in the spaces of creatives. Barbera claims his project came to fruition organically, born from his love of socializing and travel; the photos are a natural bi-product. “It is the thing I do without thinking,” he says in the intro. Readers can find these images on the internet for free but for those who still prefer that which you can obtain and cherish, pick up a hardcopy and use it to pray at the alter of your own making.
- Julius Friedman