Lifestyles of rich & shame­less

‘Queen of Ver­sailles’ film­maker ex­poses over-the-top lives of more money-ob­sessed folk

New York Post - - NEWS - By BAR­BARA HOFF­MAN

LAU­REN Green­field is cap­ti­vated by wealth. For 25 years, the Cal­i­for­nia pho­tog­ra­pher has fo­cused on those liv­ing or chas­ing the ex­treme Amer­i­can dream — not only in Amer­ica, but in China, Dubai, Mi­lan and Moscow.

Along the way, she’s met peo­ple like Jackie and David Siegel, whose bankrupt­ing ef­forts to live like roy­als — in a Florida palace re­plete with bowl­ing al­ley, sushi bar and base­ball field — were de­picted in Green­field’s 2012 doc­u­men­tary, “The Queen of Ver­sailles.”

You’ll find the Siegels, among other rich and of­ten ridicu­lous folk, in “Gen­er­a­tion Wealth,” Green­field’s book (Phaidon, out now) and ex­hi­bi­tion, open­ing Wed­nes­day at the In­ter­na­tional Cen­ter of Pho­tog­ra­phy (ICP) mu­seum. Grow­ing up in 1980s Cal­i­for­nia, Green­field told The Post, opened her eyes to liv­ing large. While her col­lege-pro­fes­sor par­ents gave her a com­fort­able, up­per­mid­dle-class life, her prep-school peers were get­ting Porsches. “By nor­mal stan­dards, I was priv­i­leged, but it al­ways felt I had less,” the 51-year-old said. And things have got­ten worse. “Where we used to com­pare our­selves with the neigh­bors, in the last 25 years, we’ve spent more time with peo­ple we’ve met on TV and their wealth. ‘Keep­ing up with the Jone­ses’ has lit­er­ally become ‘Keep­ing up with the Kar­dashi­ans.’ ”

In fact, Green­field pho­tographed two mem­bers of that fam­ily — a pre­teen Kim and Kourt­ney — at a school dance in Bel Air, Calif., in 1992. A decade later, they’d become the It girls in what Green­field called “a post­moral world”: ma­te­ri­ally rich yet never sat­is­fied.

Here are the pho­tog­ra­pher’s be­hindthe-scenes takes on a priv­i­leged few.


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