See Inside the Sometimes Strange, Often Magical Studios of 10 of New York’s Most Famous Artists, From Cecily Brown to Julie Mehretu

Photographer Marco Anelli spent eight years documenting the workspaces of more than 40 famed artists for his new book.

Dana Schutz's New York studio, 2012. © Marco Anelli.
Dana Schutz's New York studio, 2012. © Marco Anelli.

For eight years starting in 2011, photographer Marco Anelli made pilgrimages to the studios of some of New York’s greatest artists, camera in hand. 

Training his lens on the diverse creativity that makes the city’s art world so special, he captured everything from the late Joyce Pensato’s sprawling, paint-stained enclave (which is every bit as weird and messy as her work), to the bizarre creative space of Terence Koh, which is covered in mirrors and waiting-room-white paint.

Now, the results of Anelli’s work are captured in “Artist Studios New York,” published this spring by Damiani. The book features the studios of 43 famed artists, including Alex Katz, Joan Jonas, and Jordan Wolfson.

“Since their earliest days, artist studios have been defined by their isolation from the outside world,” Anelli recently told CNN. “And us photographers love to capture things others can’t access.”

Joyce Pensato in her studio. © Marco Anelli.

Joyce Pensato in her studio. © Marco Anelli.

For those in love with the mythic lore of the artist’s studio, where cigarette smoke dances and unbridled creativity flows like wine, you’ll get your fix in Anelli’s book, which includes images of Jonas Mekas’s bohemian, book-filled den and the spooky, still-untouched studio apartment of legendary writer William S. Burroughs. 

But for the most part, the studios look more modern, more real: they’re spacious and industrial, and often filled with assistants and rows of shelves. Often, they are simply in an artist’s apartment. 

The most memorable studios are those that look exactly like what you’d imagine. Banks Violette’s workspace looks like the aftermath of a metal show in a mechanic’s garage. Kiki Smith’s space is filled with feathers and twigs. Ryan Sullivan’s studio is so splattered with paint, that he dons a hazmat suit when he works.

Born in Rome, Anelli lives and works in New York. He is perhaps best known for his official portraits of the subjects that sat across from Marina Abramović during her landmark 2010 performance piece, The Artist is Present, at the Museum of Modern Art. More than 1,600 of those photographs were collected in “Portraits in the Presence of Marina Abramović,” published by Damiani in 2012.

See more images from “Artist Studios New York” below. 

Cecily Brown's studio, New York, October 23, 2012. © 2012 Marco Anelli.

Cecily Brown’s studio, New York, October 23, 2012. © 2012 Marco Anelli.

Urs Fischer's studio. © Marco Anelli.

Urs Fischer’s studio. © Marco Anelli.

Shirin Neshat in her studio, 2011. © Marco Anelli.

Shirin Neshat in her studio, 2011. © Marco Anelli.

Joan Jonas in her New York studio, 2011. © Marco Anelli.

Joan Jonas in her New York studio, 2011. © Marco Anelli.

Ryan Sullivan in his studio. © Marco Anelli.

Nate Lowman’s New York studio. © Marco Anelli.

Julie Mehretu's New York studio, 2012. © Marco Anelli.

Julie Mehretu’s New York studio, 2012. © Marco Anelli.

Francesco Clemente's New York studio, 2018. © Marco Anelli.

Francesco Clemente’s New York studio, 2018. © Marco Anelli.


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