Gregory Crewdson was born in 1962. The gift he brings to the world of photography is haunting, familiar, and riveting. He is famous for his tableaux of American homes and neighborhoods; elaborately devised scenes that remind us of something we know, but in a way that leaves us wondering, too.
Crewdson uses entire sets and envy-worthy production crews to create the rich details of each tableau. Each and every detail is carefully selected by Crewdson - from the lighting, buildings, props, to the nuances of the people and their poses. What results from each one is a profound moment, a single moment held in time.
As rich, full and vivid as the visual images are, the narrative is absent. We have no context - no what came before and after - which leaves a haunting suspense. Some of the sets Crewdson creates lead to photos that many consider disturbing or uncomfortable. Many have a liminal quality - capturing a threshold moment. They draw us in emotionally and intellectually; we are engaged.
One of the most alluring quality of lots of his photos is that they are set at twilight, a time Crewdson sees as transformative and other-worldly. It reminds me of dreamscapes, softened light that seems to belong to the world of slumber and memory. While some attribute his work to a documentary style, others rightfully say his work holds a dream-like vision. The draw for me is that each photo pulls me into a single moment that is a short story.
There is genius in this work. I never tire of it. Every photo is compelling and luscious. Whenever I see one of Gregory Crewdson's photos, I linger, notice, and bask in the fascinating richness of it.