Bill Owens’ first book, Suburbia, published in 1973, was an instant success and later gained recognition as one the most influential photography books of the twentieth century. Bill’s peculiar knack for finding the unexpected strangeness, beauty and humor within the mundane would become a huge influence on following generations of artists. Evidenced of Bill’s inspiration can be found in the work of filmmakers such as Paul Thomas Anderson, Sofia Coppola and Wes Anderson.
Despite earning a Guggenheim fellowship and two NEA Grants, photography wasn’t paying the bills, so Bill followed his other passions, ultimately becoming a pioneer in the American home brewing movement. These days, Bill is making digital movies and has a few more books up his sleeve. He is a father, a brewer, a gardener, and founder of the American Brewing Institute. For 17 years he published American Brewer Magazine. His favorite toy is his Daisy BB Gun and he recently spent three months driving across the USA to photograph the New Suburbia.
In 1969, while working as a photojournalist for a local newspaper, Bill was on hand to document the concert at Altamont Speedway that would come to symbolize a turning point in youth culture. The Bill Owens for Altamont collection is comprised of some of those photos.