Generation Wealth is a new exposition at New York’s International Center of Photography by Lauren Greenfield and serves as a “searing critique of our society’s collective obsession with the pursuit of wealth.”

If there’s one thing that photojournalist Lauren Greenfield has learned over the last 25 years, it’s that America has an addiction problem—not to drugs, alcohol, or gambling, although those are all undeniable problems present in her work, but to wealth and its trappings, to luxury, fame, beauty, and youth.

Greenfield comments:

Today, almost everything we consume is meant to be binged. Where designer handbags was once considered wildly aspirational, now a hunger for mega-mansions and super-yachts is presented as considered normal. As Juliet Schor puts it in her forward to Greenfield’s new book, also titled Generation Wealth, “the ultrarich [have] run out of semi-rational things to compete over.”

These impulses aren’t confined to just the one percent: with the rise of the Internet and social media, the conspicuous consumption of the rich is all the more visible to average folk, many of whom are driven to be emulate the lives of the rich and famous—the implied challenge to do so embedded in the very name Keeping Up With the Kardashians.

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