Tom Atwood

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Kings & Queens in Their Castles has been called one of the most ambitious photo series ever conducted of the LGBTQ experience in the USA.  Over 15 years, Atwood photographed more than 350 subjects at home nationwide, including nearly 100 celebrities.  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, 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.  Alongside creatives such as artists, fashion designers, writers, actors, directors, music makers and dancers, the series features business leaders, politicians, journalists, activists and religious leaders.  It includes those who keep civilization running, such as farmers, beekeepers, doctors, chefs, bartenders and innkeepers.  Some miscellaneous athletes, students, professors, drag queens and socialites.  As well as a cartoonist, barista, poet, comedian, navy technician, paleontologist and transgender cop.  Also showcased are urban bohemians, beatniks, mavericks and iconoclasts, many of whom blossomed in the 1960s and 1970s but seem to be slowly disappearing. 


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Tom Atwood's recent work has focused on portraits of people at home. He has shot over 100 luminaries including Hilary Swank, Julie Newmar, Buzz Aldrin, Mark Wahlberg (Marky Mark), John Waters, Don Lemon, Tommy Tune, Meredith Baxter, Greg Louganis, Barney Frank, George Takei, Todd Oldham, Edward Albee, Ross Bleckner, Michael Cunningham, Alison Bechdel, Ari Shapiro, Don Bachardy, Charles Busch, Alan Cumming and Leslie Jordan. 

His second book, Kings & Queens in Their Castles, was recently published by Damiani.  The book won multiple awards including First Place in the International Photography Awards (book category) as well as a Lucie Award (book-other category). 

Atwood was included in the National Portrait Gallery’s Outwin Boochever Triennial (Smithsonian Museum).  He won first place in Portraiture in the Prix de la Photographie Paris.  Atwood also won Photographer of the Year from London's Worldwide Photography Gala Awards, as well as first place in Portraiture.   

He has won over 40 additional awards including from the Griffin Museum of Photography, Center for Fine Art Photography, International Photography Awards, Santa Fe Center for Photography, Vienna International Photo Award (Gold Medal), CameraArts, Photo Life, PDN, The Photo Review, Communication Arts, Fence at Photoville, Graphis, Camera Club of NY, Jacob Riis Award, Hellerau Photography Award, Reclaim Photo Award, Passepartout Prize, American Photography Annual, One Life International, American Art Awards, Photography Masters Cup, Manhattan Arts International, One Eyeland, World in Focus, Artrom Gallery Guild, PhotoServe, International Photographer of the Year, International Color Awards, Moscow International Foto Awards, Kodak and American Photographic Artists (sponsored by the Getty Museum and Hammer Museum).  He has also been recognized on Photo Life Magazine's list of 50 Emerging Photographers.

Atwood's work has exhibited over 60 times in over 15 countries, including at the National Portrait Gallery (Smithsonian Museum), Griffin Museum of Photography, George Eastman Museum, National Museum of Finland (Finland), D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts, Kemper Art Museum, Center for Fine Art Photography, Museum of Photographic Arts, House of Lucie, Annenberg Space for Photography, MoMA, University of the Arts, Frank Museum, Center for Photography at Woodstock, Benaki Museum (Greece), Museum of Science and Technology (Germany), Shibuya Cultural Center (Japan), Círculo de Bellas Artes Museum (Spain), LA Center for Digital Art, Pacific Design Center and Manhattan Arts International. 

His work exhibits at various galleries, most recently ClampArt (NYC), Steven Kasher Gallery (NYC), Louis Stern Fine Arts (LA), Farmani Gallery (LA), PDNB Gallery (Dallas), Photo-Eye Gallery (Santa Fe), Jules Maeght Gallery (San Francisco), Na Kashirke Art Gallery (Russia), Museanum Gallery (Germany) and Proyecto Galeria (Mexico).  And he’s exhibited at various art fairs such as Paris Photo, AIPAD, Photo LA, Art Basel Miami Beach, Frieze, Art Los Angeles Contemporary, Armory Show, Photoville, MOPLA, Yixian International Photo Festival (China), Vienna Summer Photo Festival (Austria), Yangon Photo Festival (Myanmar), Helsinki Photo Festival (Finland) and Athens Photo Festival (Greece).

His work has been featured in over 200 publications in over 15 countries including The Guardian, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Denver Post, Wall Street Journal, New Yorker, Los Angeles Magazine, New York Magazine, Elle, Harvard Magazine, Art Newspaper, Artforum, Art Ltd., Artillery, Applied Arts, Photo Life, Photo Selection, The Photo Review, Popular Photography, PDN, Rangefinder, LenScratch, Feature Shoot, Photographer's Forum, Publisher’s Weekly, Huffington Post, Upworthy and VICE.  Atwood has also appeared on Sirius, CBS, ABC, Bravo, HGTV, Logo, Telemundo and other networks.

His clients have included L'Oreal Paris, Disney, BMW, Lexus, Verizon, Johnson & Johnson, Nestle-Purina, Deloitte and CAA, as well as editorial clients such as The Wall Street Journal, Brandweek, Angeleno and LA Confidential.

Atwood has a Bachelor’s from Harvard University and a Master’s from Cambridge University (England).  He has lectured on photography at various organizations and universities including UCLA, UCSB and the School of Visual Arts, has been a juror for London's Worldwide Photography Gala Awards and was a portfolio reviewer for Popular Photography and American Photo.  In a past life, he also served as a Director at several global advertising agencies including Ogilvy & Mather, McCann, DDB and BBDO.  Based in New York, Atwood has lived in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Amsterdam and Paris.  He grew up on a dirt road in the woods of Vermont.

United States
United States
La Mesa
United States



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