Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The photography of Gregory Crewdson

Gregory Crewdson, Untitled, 2003
I hadn't heard of the American photographer Gregory Crewdson until I read CNN Nick Glass's piece Photographer Gregory Crewdson captures the dark side of rural America. The photos are really quite striking.

Wikipedia records that Crewdson was born on 26 September 1962. He grew up in New York and in a way drifted into photography, a hobby that became an obsession.

Crewdson's photographs usually take place in small-town America and are dramatic and cinematic, featuring often disturbing, surreal events. The photographs are elaborately staged and lit using crews familiar with motion picture production and lighting large scenes using motion picture film equipment and techniques.

Both the Nick Glass piece and the Wikipedia article cited above explore some of the influences on Crewdson's work. He is, I think, truly brilliant, creating a surreal world that remains somehow linked to the original reality. In a way, they capture the loneliness that lies at the heart of the human condition.

I leave it to you to explore his work. If you are in or will be in London soon, his latest exhibition  CATHEDRAL OF THE PINES is on at the Photographers' Gallery from 23 June to 8 October 2017.


Anonymous said...

Sorry, I don't see the point of 'staged photography'. The pics are great - but so what? I thought the great leap forward with cameras was the ability to capture the moment - shoddy, anarchic, "real"...

But I agree, the compositions are lovely - except for mother and daughter, with the door open to heavy snow - who does that?


Jim Belshaw said...

As I said in an earlier post, I had some earlier difficulty with the idea of photographs as art. Part of the reason for that was an underlying feeling about photography as the "real". That, sadly, has gone in a photoshopped world. I don't have a problem with staged or composed photos including fashion shots so long as i know.

The compositions are lovely, although like you I struggle with the idea of a winter shot with the door partly open. Too damn unrealistic!

Anonymous said...

This link was sent to me recently by an American friend:


The photographer is Australian, and I think he did a good job, so recommend the read.


Jim Belshaw said...

It was a good read, kvd, although you will understand why I found it depressing. I hadn't heard of Adam Ferguson, although I should have. His bio details just said that he had grown up in regional NSW, but given he went to Griffith Uni I wondered where. Digging around, I find that he grew up in Coffs Harbour where his father was GM of the Council. He also did at least some photographic work for the Coffs Harbour Advocate.

I will bring the link up as a new post. My thanks.