If you’ve ever wanted a peek into the work spaces of the world’s creative influencers, E. Brady Robinson‘s photographic project Art Desks will intrigue you. This social experiment about navigating the art world features photographs of nearly 100 desks that will be collected in a forthcoming book.
The photos showcase a wide variety of desks: many are traditional offices, but some of the spaces are more unique or are multi-purpose spaces, like a restaurant bar or a dining room table. They range from more cluttered desks full of sticky notes and knick-knacks to carefully-organized, minimal rooms with little more than a desk, computer, and a few stacks of paper.
The photos are like environmental portraits without showing the actual people. Each shows the personality of the artist or creative. I find it particularly interesting to see the pieces of art they choose to display on the walls, and how they are hung — whether they have one or two framed pieces or many little pieces tacked up bulletin board-style.
The project began when Robinson casually took a photo of a workspace in Washington, D.C., while on another assignment, but has expanded to show desks across the East Coast of the U.S. She chooses artists, art dealers and collectors, art critics, and museum staff whose work she values, but she often likes the artists’ spaces best.
“They’re [the artists] least likely to clean up before I get there. If I’m photographing a desk in a museum it tends to look a little bureaucratic, compared to an artist desk, which maybe is a little messier, a little more unfiltered. I feel the artists aren’t hiding anything,” Robinson said.