Gregory Crewdson

Gregory Crewdson is an American photographer born in New York in 1962 and is currently still working in New York.

At aged ten, Crewdson had his first experience with photography when he first saw the work of Diane Arbus at the Museum Of Modern Art in New York. Crewdson studied photography at the University of New York-Purchase College in 1985. Crewdson, three years later then graduated with his Masters in Photography at the Yale University.

Crewdson’s style is the mundane surreal domestic environment, in his first series in which he uses a  wide variety of subject matter including; birds, insects, mutated body parts. The first of his series focuses on narratives based upon paranoia, lust and fantasy. Crewdson changed his style regularly from vibrant close-ups to monochromatic” bird’s eye view” captures.

In his latter series, he introduced colour back into his style, using large format, to enhance the cinematic ambience inspired by Steven Steinberg. His work is staged tableaus of suburban life. The series is documentation in a domestic environment, these photographs result in of obscenely dramatic and unsettling feelings of isolation, despite them being in a vernacular neighbourhood. Crewdson’s work would have required a vast array of assistants, procedural set building and actors in order to achieve the series. Crewdson created many photographic series. In 1963 Crewdson decided to become a professor where he studied his Master’s degree and has remained there ever since. Crewdson has suggested that in the future would like to direct his own feature film.

Crewdson is my biggest inspiration he inspires me to examine every individual element that is put in the photographic image, to make it procedural, balanced and dystonic to the viewer. I want to capture the cinematic elements of Crewdson’s work as I feel this grabs the viewer in such a way that the image has more presence and longevity to be savoured, exhaustingly wishing to unpick every part of the image and therefore pieced together an overall story. This is something I feel Crewdson does incredibly well, he manages to enthral in both text and image. Crewdson’s work is both artistic with an element of poetry a strong narrative that inspires you just really want to view a whole series and form your own opinions and concept of what is happening in the image. Crewdson makes you want to learn about all the cinematic components, the compositional balancing but also the tonal and colour spectrum and lighting that is so masterfully used within his work. I would like to make a smaller scale set that will have everything purposely placed, thus to create a finely tuned composition but in a much more simplistic way than perhaps Crewdson’s work as I shall not have the assistance or resources Crewdson has at his disposal.

Crewdson has said that he wanted to construct the world in photographs which is something I feel fascinates me. This is something that heavily resonates within me is it something I have found myself doing within my work. I love to build a theatrical environment to house my ideas  Crewdson is also fascinated by the limitations of photography that a still image will ultimately freeze time,  one is left feeling like an unresolved question something that you never really going to understand fully. This is again something I feel my work has an element of by the pure nature of metaphors within my work. I often feel that some of my metaphors are lost within my work as they are insignificant to most viewers but heavily impactful to me.



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