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Gregory Crewdson

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Gregory Crewdson
American Contemporary Photographer
American, b. September 26, 1962
"Contemporary photographer Gregory Crewdson doesn’t take pictures. Instead, he spends several months meticulously planning surreal and elaborately staged scenes of American homes and neighborhoods. Building his stage sets from scratch, his large-scale photographs require a crew of 40 to 50 people to set up the detailed and suspenseful scenes, including lighting, set designers, and even casting directors. Crewdson’s cinematic approach to photography makes him an innovative artist whose images lie between reality and theatricality.

Growing up in Park Slope, New York, Gregory Crewdson recalls spending his childhood attempting to decipher the muffled voices coming from the basement of his Brooklyn home, where his psychoanalyst father would see his patients. Although Crewdson has abandoned his act of eavesdropping, the Freudian implications of the mysteries that lie beneath the surface have become a predominant theme in his work. The sense of voyeurism and tension that existed in his home has influenced Crewdson to explore the tensions that exist in the in-between moments of everyday life.

Despite being heavily influenced by Alfred Hitchcock, David Lynch, and Steven Spielberg’s films, Crewdsons’ photographs do not provide a continuous narrative in the same way that films do. Instead, Crewdson seeks to create the most mysterious and captivating images that can stand independently. His captivatingly detailed photographs present the viewer with more questions than answers. Using the limiting aspects of photography to his advantage, Gregory Crewdson utilizes devices such as lighting to accentuate the tension in his scenes. Fascinated by the qualities of twilight and the psychological significance of the transition from day to night, it is no wonder that Crewdson is most interested in moments of suspension. His photographs, also inspired by Norman Rockwell and Edward Hopper’s depictions of small-town America, exist in the threshold between the familiar and the unknown, between the calm and the unsettled."

Written by Amy Vazquez (SC ’09) 2008-2009 Wilson Intern

Artist Objects

Untitled 2008.4.27

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