How an artist pretended to be a European socialite to capture photos of luxurious NYC apartments
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How an artist pretended to be a European socialite to capture photos of luxurious NYC apartments

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A recent story in Architectural Digest tells the story of how an artist used a little social engineering to capture photographs of some of New York City’s most exclusive and expensive pieces of real estate by claiming to be an incredibly wealthy European socialite.

According to AD’s reporting, Hungarian artist Andi Shmied took on the false identity of ‘Gabriella,’ a European socialite in search of a new apartment, to capture images for her limited-edition book Private Views: A High-Rise Panorama of Manhattan. The saga that resulted in ‘Gabriella’ gaining access to these apartments includes it all: a fake husband, a child that doesn’t exist, a personal chef and a personal assistant named ‘Coco.’

Along the way, ‘Gabriella’ was able to tour numerous luxurious properties, including a few along ‘Billionaires’ Row,’ a series of opulent buildings along Central Park’s south side. Shmied, who studied architecture and urban design, claims she isn’t ‘much of a photographer. AD says she used an ‘old-school’ Nikon F-601 to capture at least some of the photographs in the book, but no further information about the gear used was shared.

You can read AD’s story in its entirety using the link below:

This Artist Faked Being a Billionaire to Photograph New York City’s Best Views

Private Views: A High-Rise Panorama of Manhattan, of which only 1,000 copies were made, is available to purchase on Shmied’s website for €87 (~$105), which includes free global shipping.

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