60 LGBTQ Cultural Icons at Home – Photography Book “Kings & Queens in Their Castles”


New Photography Book by Tom Atwood
Featuring Portraits of 60 Celebrities
Kings & Queens in Their Castles (published by Damiani, March 28 2017, $45 / €40 / £35) has been called the most ambitious photo series ever conducted of the LGBTQ experience in the USA. Over 15 years, Tom Atwood photographed more than 350 subjects at home nationwide (with over 160 in the book), including nearly 100 celebrities (with about 60 in the book). With individuals from 30 states, Atwood offers a window into the lives and homes of some of America’s most intriguing and eccentric personalities. 
Among the luminaries depicted are Meredith Baxter, Alan Cumming, Don Lemon, John Waters, George Takei, Alison Bechdel, Barney Frank, Don Bachardy, Billy Porter, Ari Shapiro, Arthur Tress, Michael Urie, Greg Louganis, Charles Busch, Kate Clinton, Dan Savage, Tommy Tune, Jonathan Adler, Simon Doonan, Leslie Jordan, Anthony Rapp, John Berendt, Bruce Vilanch, John Corigliano, Anthony Goicolea, Elizabeth Streb, Michael Musto, Carson Kressley, Joel Schumacher, Christian Siriano, John Ashbery, Terrence McNally and Christine Vachon. Modern day tableaux vivants, the images portray whimsical, intimate moments of daily life that shift between the pictorial and the theatrical.
“The access Tom Atwood tirelessly worked to achieve is absolutely astonishing,” says Brian Clamp of ClampArt, adding, “With charm, pizzazz, and sheer determination, Atwood captures the intimate lives of many of the most fascinating and respected members of our LGBTQ community.” 
Equally fascinating are many of the everyday individuals. Alongside creatives such as artists, fashion designers, writers, actors, directors, music makers and dancers, the series features business men and women, activists and clergy members. It includes those who keep civilization running, such as farmers, beekeepers, doctors, chefs, bartenders and innkeepers. Some miscellaneous athletes, students, professors and socialites. As well as a cartoonist, barista, poet, comedian, navy technician and paleontologist.
Also sublimely depicted are several transgender subjects, including a transgender deputy sheriff and transgender Native American activist, as well as several female impersonators and drag queens. The series also features bohemians, beatniks, mavericks and iconoclasts, many of whom blossomed in the 1960s and 1970s but seem to be slowly disappearing. 
“I shoot subjects at home because our natural habitats bring out our true character,” Atwood explains. His approach blends portraiture and architectural photography, to illustrate that subjects and environments are a unified fabric — Congressman Barney Frank surrounded by government documents, actor Anthony Rapp leaning against his award-filled bookcase, and artist Don Bachardy enveloped by colorful paintings. Atwood uses a wide-angle lens and wide depth of field so that neither subject nor home predominates. Resulting in “marvelous photographs that capture our idiosyncrasies and obsessions,” according to playwright, Tony Kushner. 
The backdrops are often packed with personal belongings, paraphernalia and detail —director John Waters’ pinup-adorned home office, and actor George Takei’s trinket-filled dining room. And other times portray sweeping exterior views — cityscape balcony vistas of dancer Tommy Tune and CNN anchor Don Lemon, and transgender cop Anthony Barreto-Neto’s long pastoral Vermont driveway. With a flair for design, many of these subjects have crafted playful, often outlandish homes that tell stories about their inhabitants. 
“There is a common LGBTQ sensibility that sets us apart that I wanted to recognize and celebrate, says Atwood. “This sensibility shares an outlook with the sensibility of creative and cultural leaders — an awareness of difference, of other, of possibility — an avant-garde mindset.” One fascinating phenomenon the series explores is just how many creative and cultural leaders are LGBTQ. “Alternative sexuality or gender practices and extraordinary talent in arts and culture often seem to be intertwined,” Atwood explains. Many of the book’s subjects are kings or queens of their professions, and many of the interiors are visually rich in the way that medieval decorations were — strong, deep colors, and lavish fabrics. 
“Atwood’s photography is a work of immense depth and richness, like a monumental series of biographies,” notes art historian, Andrew Lear of Harvard University. With elements of both formal portraiture and informal snapshots, Atwood’s images attempt to dance the line between beauty and chaos, sometimes simultaneously comforting and unsettling.
Unique in its scope, treatment, and artistic value, Kings & Queens in their Castlesshould appeal to not only art and photography enthusiasts, architecture and design buffs, and LGBTQ individuals and allies — but to those just wanting to be a fly on the wall in the homes of some of today’s most seminal pop culture icons. Having been called a tour de force of LGBTQ culture, this book features inspiring role models for our youth and offers a refreshing celebration of America’s vibrant LGBTQ community.
Find the book here
Meredith Baxter – Actress from Family Ties, All the President’s Men, Glee, Family
Alan Cumming – Tony-winning actor from Hamlet, Macbeth, Cabaret
Don Lemon – CNN Anchor
George Takei – Actor from Star Trek, The Twilight Zone, Star Wars, Heroes
Barney Frank – Former US Congressman and chair of Financial Services Committee
Greg Louganis – Olympic diver and gold medal winner
Michael Urie – Actor from Ugly Betty, The Good Wife, Partners, Modern Family
Terrence McNally – Tony and Emmy-winning writer and playwright
Ari Shapiro – Co-host of NPR’s All Things Considered
Kate Clinton – Comedian and actress from The L Word
John Waters – Director of Pink Flamingos, Polyester, Hairspray, Pecker, Serial Mom
Don Bachardy – Acclaimed artist and former partner of Christopher Isherwood
Tommy Tune – Ten time Tony-winning performer and National Medal of Arts winner
Alison Bechdel – Cartoonist, MacArthur Genius Grant winner and author of Fun Home
Jonathan Adler – Designer and homeware magnate
Elizabeth Streb – Acclaimed choreographer
Rufus Wainwright – Award-winning singer and songwriter
Julie Mehretu and Jessica Rankin – Renowned artists
Joel Schumacher – Director of Phantom of the Opera, St. Elmo’s Fire
Bruce Vilanch – Emmy-winning celebrity from Hollywood Squares
Arthur Tress – Renowned photographer
Mark Takano – US Congressman
Leslie Jordan – Actor from The Help, Sordid Lives, Will & Grace, Newhart
Neda Ulaby – NPR arts correspondent
Billy Porter – Tony-winning actor from Kinky Boots, Jesus Christ Superstar
Jim McGreevey – Former New Jersey Governor
Randal Kleiser – Director of Grease, Big Top Pee-wee, The Blue Lagoon
John Berendt – Author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
Christine Vachon – Producer of Still Alice, Boys Don’t Cry, I Shot Andy Warhol
John Corigliano – Grammy and Pulitzer-winning composer
Anthony Rapp – Actor from Rent, Psych, The X-Files, A Beautiful Mind
Charles Busch – Playwright and author of Tale of the Allergist’s Wife
Heather Matarazzo – Actress from The Princess Diaries, ER, Strangers with Candy
Dan Savage – Columnist and media pundit
Simon Doonan – Television personality and Barneys NY creative director
Michael Musto – Village Voice columnist and television personality
Felice Picano – Author of Nights at Rizzoli, Art & Sex in Greenwich Village
Carson Kressley – Bravo and OWN television host
Steve Kmetko – CBS reporter and E! Entertainment anchor
Christian Siriano – Project Runway winner
Annise Parker – Houston Mayor
Madison Hildebrand – Star of Million Dollar Listing
Bishop Gene Robinson – First out gay bishop
Ria Pell – Chef from Top Chef and winner of Chopped
Anthony Goicolea – Artist
David Moretti – Actor from House of Cards, The Lair, Scrooge & Marley, Arizona
Mark Adamo – Acclaimed opera composer
Doug Spearman – Actor from Charmed, Star Trek Voyager, Noah’s Arc, Girlfriends
Jay McCarroll – Project Runway winner
Neil Giuliano – Former Tempe Mayor and president of GLAAD
Marc Anthony Samuel – Actor from Imperfect Sky, Avenged, Parenthood
Laura Flanders – Journalist and Air America Radio host
Darryl Stephens – Actor from Undressed, Noah’s Arc, Desperate Housewives
Frank Marino – Longest-running headliner on the Strip, dubbed “Ms. Las Vegas”
Christopher Rice – Author of six bestselling novels
Martyn Lawrence-Bullard – Star of Million Dollar Decorators, Hollywood Me
Erin McKeown – Award-winning singer
George Kotsiopoulos – Co-host of Fashion Police and correspondent for MSNBC
Jess Cagle – Editorial director of People Magazine and Entertainment Weekly
Arnold Myint – Drag performer and chef from Top Chef
Bruce Cohen – Producer of American Beauty, The Nines, Big Fish, Milk
Josh Flagg – Star of Million Dollar Listing
John Ashbery – Pulitzer-winning Poet Laureate of New York
And many others
Find the book here

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