Gregory Crewdson Essay

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What I find fascinating about your photos is that they create a psychological space that allows viewers to create their own narrative.

Two people can look at the same photo but tell themselves a completely different story.

Yes, and to me it’s beautiful that that can happen.

Everyone brings their own history, their own baggage, and their own particular meaning to a picture.

Gregory Crewdson was born in 1962 in Brooklyn, New York.

He is a graduate of SUNY Purchase and the Yale University School of Art, where he is now director of graduate studies in photography. His work has been exhibited widely in the United States and Europe and is featured in many public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Brooklyn Museum; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC.Photographs are limited, they’re not like movies or literature because there’s no before or after.But I’ve always seen that restriction as a positive, as a way of trying to create even more mystery.When I was an undergraduate at SUNY Purchase, that was a very vital time for me; that’s really where I discovered photography as a practitioner.But at the same time, I was taking classes with film theorist Tom Gunning, who was hugely influential to me.In addition to changing the nature of the work you create, it seems to me that being physically present in the pine forests, or in Becket—rather than on a set or in a studio—must make for a unique shooting experience.Is there a particular part of the process that you enjoy the most?There was also Close Encounters of the Third Kind, which is a huge film for me.I love movies that are accessible but also have a darker underside–I think that’s what my pictures do, they have that same tension.It’s a quality Crewdson believes may have been inspired by his father, a psychoanalyst who worked out of the family’s basement.“This is basically what he did in his practice,” Crewdson told me.


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