Documentary photographer and filmmaker Lauren Greenfield has been working for the past twenty-five years to chronicle a previously unprecedented global obsession with wealth and materialism. Remarkable in scope and depth, from Moscow high society to Atlanta strip club royalty, Greenfield’s photographs explore the desire for more and succeed in revealing gender dynamics, cult of celebrity, consumerism, power of sex and marketing, and their eventual consequences. Generation Wealth, her latest series, is an especially timely and pertinent body of work that serves as a visual timeline tracing the rise, and fall, and rise of the pursuit of wealth in America. This work is currently on view at Fahey Klein Gallery in Los Angeles and available in a book recently published by Phaidon.
Beginning in Los Angeles in the early 1990’s Lauren Greenfield documented youth culture and its preoccupation with celebrity, status, and affluence. This powerful microcosm would prove to be the very epicenter of wealth and celebrity obsession, as Greenfield witnessed its pervasive effects spread across the nation, reaching every corner of America regardless of region or class. Greenfield photographed the mega mansions, luxury hotels, private parties, beauty pageants, and designer bags that began to symbolize wealth, success, and fulfillment in America. As this phenomenon spread globally, Greenfield moves onto the pinnacle of affluence— the wealthy Russian, Chinese, and European superrich whose excess is dizzying in comparison.