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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
"To take a photograph is to align the head, the eye and the heart. It's a way of life." ~ Henri Cartier-Bresson

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Photographer Profile ~ Gregory Crewdson

Gregory Crewdson was born in Brooklyn, New York, on September 26, 1962. His first experience of photography, at the age of ten, was a Diane Arbus retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York

As a teenager, he was part of a punk rock group called The Speedies that hit the New York scene in selling out shows all over town. Their hit song “Let Me Take Your Photo” proved to be prophetic to what Crewdson would become later in life. In 2005, Hewlett Packard used the song in advertisements to promote its digital cameras.

In the mid 1980s, Crewdson studied photography at SUNY Purchase, near Port Chester, NY. He received his Master of Fine Arts from Yale University. He has taught at Sarah Lawrence, Cooper Union, Vassar College, and Yale University where he has been on the faculty since 1993. He is now a professor at Yale University of the Arts.

Gregory Crewdson’s photographs usually take place in small town America, but are dramatic and cinematic. They feature often disturbing, surreal events. The photographs are shot using a large crew, and are elaborately staged and lighted. Working at a mind-boggling scale, Crewdson creates his highly crafted surreal images and are very cinematic. He has cited the films Vertigo, The Night of the Hunter, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Blue Velvet, and Safe as having influenced his style, as well as the painter Edward Hopper and photographer Diane Arbus.

He apparently does everything in camera. Whatever it takes, he’ll build a set, create fog or rain. No cloning or CG is used to create these marvelously complex and compelling images. "a perfect moment "

Crewdson is represented in London at White Cube.

* please click on images for a larger view* recommended!

Yup that is Julianne Moore

"... I’m interested in using the iconography of nature and the American landscape as surrogates or metaphors for psychological anxiety, fear or desire. "~ Crewdson


"Every artist has a central story to tell, and the difficulty, the impossible task, is trying to present that story in pictures. "~ Crewdson

"The suburban landscape is alien and strange and exotic. I photograph it out of longing and desire. My photographs are also about repression and internal angst. " ~ Crewdson

 Six Feet Under cast

I think my pictures are really about a kind of tension between my need to make a perfect picture and the impossibility of doing so. Something always fails, there’s always a problem, and photography fails in a certain sense… This is what drives you to the next picture. "~ Crewdson

"Originally, one of the reasons I was drawn to photography, as opposed to painting or sculpture or installation, is that of all the arts it is the most democratic, in so far as it’s instantly readable and accessible to our culture. Photography is how we move information back and forth. " ~ Crewdson

"My pictures must first be beautiful, but that beauty is not enough. I strive to convey an underlying edge of anxiety, of isolation, of fear. " ~ Crewdson

All my pictures are very voyeuristic, but ultimately I’m looking at what lurks in my own interior. I make photographs because I want to answer the question of what propels me to do the things that I do. But that always remains a mystery. " ~ Crewdson

"…the photograph is still and frozen. From day one, I have been interested in taking that limitation and trying to find the strength in it—like a story that is forever frozen in between moments, before and after, and always left as a kind of unresolved question. " ~ Crewdson

On set with the Crewdson crew

Gregory Crewdson with his 8x10 camera

Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters Trailer

Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters Trailer from Benjamin Shapiro on Vimeo.

Check out this Aperture feature on Crewdson: http://www.aperture.org/crewdson/

The Speedies "Let Me Take Your Photo" (1979) 

with Gregory Crewdson!

I think he's on guitar,  but I'm not sure which one he is however. If anyone knows shoot me a message


  1. fascinating..love the method, work, thought and of course result...

  2. 3-4 weeks of work and an amazing budget just for a couple of photos ... wwauv that is what I call passion

  3. I saw this work on a documentry film and look at photography in such a different way! Thank you Gregory for yiur passion of sight!!

  4. I’ve learned a lot from your blog here. Keep on going my friend; I will keep an eye on it.