Where They Live

A photographer turns his lens on the miscellany of domestic spaces

In between assignments for the likes of Nike, Coca-Cola, and Elle Decor, New York-based photographer Paul Barbera somehow manages to find the time to nourish his natural interest in the interior spaces of artistically inclined individuals. The resulting photographic work, equally driven by curiosity and creative impulse, is published on his self-managed website Where They Create. Barbera’s stories are divided into two categories, Where They Create (WTC) and Where They Live (WTL), focusing on vocational and domestic spaces, respectively. In adopting an anti-commercial perspective toward his interior subjects, Barbera allows his gifted eye to wander across all manner of knick-knacks and tchotchkes to create a telling portrait of each space’s occupants and denizens.

Among the latter category, the homes of Melbourne stylist Sonia Rentsch and New York-based Creative Director Katia Kuethe are worthy of note.

Paul Barbera Where They Create | Sonia Rentsch in Melbourne | Knoll Inspiration

Photograph by Paul Barbera.

The more cluttered of the two, Rentsch’s home brims with flowers, vegetation, paintings, and charming artifacts, including an array of differently sized light bulbs. Of her state of unbridled creativity, Rentsch notes that the lifestyle comes with certain limitations, “I don’t have time for pets. Like kids, I’d need to be home at certain hours and they expect things like meals. I’m bad enough at fulfilling those requisites myself. For the moment, I am very happy not to be tied to anything. Like this city and this apartment, the time will come to leave.” Marcel Breuer’s Cesca Chair is creatively employed for its secondary function as a night stand, betraying Rentsch’s bookish interest in the work of Franz Kafka.

Paul Barbera Where They Create | Katia Kuethe in New York, NY | Knoll Inspiration

Photograph by Paul Barbera.

Kuethe, who works at Lucky Magazine, enjoys a different but no-less-joyful kind of domestic bliss. The mother of a young boy, Kuethe’s home caters to the pragmatic considerations of her hectic lifestyle while maintaining an equal balance of whimsy and design sense. In the living room, for example, Kuethe has playfully paired Philippe Starck’s Ghost Chairs with a Saarinen Dining Table, toeing the line between the visibility/invisibility of one’s furnishings. Hundreds of Vogue back issues line the built-in bookshelves, their weight giving way to a delicate and graceful bow-like curve. The deep blue sofa is the only outlier in the living room’s overall neutral-toned environment, with fatigued cushions that attest to years of use.

Paul Barbera Where They Create | Katia Kuethe in New York, NY | Knoll Inspiration

Photograph by Paul Barbera.

Many more interiors can be found in Barbera’s book, Where They Create, and on Barbera’s self-titled website. Be sure to look out for the photographer’s upcoming commercial and personal work. 

 

Cesca Chair with Arms
Cesca Chair - Armless
Saarinen Table - 35" Round