4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 1 August 2007
In Crewdson's Twilight series, he has managed to create a beautiful set of photographs that are so packed with narrative that each image tells a story in a single frame.
Many of the images, at first glance, appear to be fairly normal scenes from somewhere in the American Midwest. However, after looking at them again, you will see more and more detail. The deeper you comprehend each image, the more unsettling it becomes, and yet there is not anything in these images to shock or horrify. There is only a pervading sense of something else unexplained going on outside the confines of the photograph.
Crewdson has received praise and scorn in equal measure from people I know in the photography world. However, the latter has always seemed to me to be out of jealousy over the monumental effort (and finances) most of these images took to produce.
They are beautiful and very detailed. The most unsettling thing about them is that you don't really know why they make you feel unsettled.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 23 September 2008
I saw Gregory Crewdson on a TV documentary briefly and that's the only reason I bought this book... just to see what his work is all about.
I am slightly disappointed to be honest. I like the surreal and threatening nature of some of his work but some photos leave me cold, especially the ones involving overhead views of school buses and fire engines etc. However, that is just my personal preference.
Some people dislike the quality of the reproduction in the book. I think it is fine. You can never replicate the quality of a large format print in a book. The print quality is fine with all necessary detail included.
By far the worst part of this book is the essay on Crewdson by Rick Moody. I am not exaggerating when I say that it is the most pompous and ridiculous piece of writing I think I have ever read. I really think Moody must have been either on the verge of insanity or under the influence of something otherworldly when penning this claptrap. He comes across as someone who is thumbing through a thesaurus as he writes, attemting to bamboozle the reader with his supposed vocabulary and literacy skills. The only reason I chose to finish reading the entire essay was to try and fathom out what on earth he was attempting to say.
Thankfully, the essay isn't really what this book is all about. It's about the photographs. I am now of the opinion that Crewdson is more famous for his way of working (huge road crew and Hollywood style entourage) than he is for the end result of his work. Much of this work is good but overrated. Crewdson is not a God-like figure like many will have you believe. He is just a modern art photographer with a fat wallet, that's all.
Good book, worth flicking through then throwing on the coffee table for guests to puzzle over.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 13 May 2006
A bizarre look into one man's warped mind. True - there are overtones of Lynchian suburbia which are heightened by the netherlight that permiates these worlds - but on the whole this is a stunning collection of original photographs. The book gives an insight into how each shot was staged and the large amount of work behind the scenes that the casual observer would not appreciate. Four years for a roll's worth of film is impressive in itself. Having seen the large prints hanging on the wall of the White Cube2 gallery in Hoxton, some of the impact is lost in small coffee-table sizing, but the subjects still stun with their outlandishness. Strange and unsettling - all the things that good art should be.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 26 April 2010
I stumbled upon Crewdson just by chance, in fact it was probably looking for photography books on Amazon! The images I saw just drew me in and I just had to get one of his books to see more.
Crewdson may not be viewed as a photographer in the traditional sense and not be to everyone's taste but that's the beauty of photography, it moves around, changes and evolves and, as I have read many times now, does not necessarily mean one lone person travelling the country and globe to capture the shot. I enjoy many different styles of photography and Crewdson's is one of my favourites...so far!
Crewdson is different in that he uses the skills of an elaborate production team. His work is on a large scale, setting up scenes in, more often than not, small town America. Scenes that are dreamlike, unusual and that make the usual seem out of place.
Take the 'Twilight' photography series. This was the first book I bought by Crewdson and it will not be the last. The book includes 40 untitled photographs (plates) which are all seemingly shot at 'Twilight' which he says is an evocative time for the 'movement of transition between before and after' which is what the shots are about. The photographs all include people in everyday situations but with that added extra or a missing component.
I find them very striking in that all the people in them appear dislocated from their current surroundings with almost blank features and stiff, motionless bodies they appear, to me, like the walking dead. Probably not a great comparison but that is what strikes me as I gaze through the photographs.
On the more subtle ones (if subtle is a word to be used here!), a first quick glance and you would almost not notice anything out of place. But something starts to make you feel uneasy, it's un-nerving and you find you have to look for longer, taking in all the surreal dreamlike and, often, haunting visions. You just have to question what is going on here? What came before and is coming after so, in effect, the purpose of showing the transition of before and after has, for me, been achieved.
One of the most striking images for me is Plate 6, that of a woman dressed in her nightie and underwear, kneeling in her kitchen/dining room on a bed of flowers. Dirt covers her legs, and her expression is vacant, her neck is covered with sweat. Amazing streams of light come in through the windows shining into the room. The kitchen itself seems to have been transformed into some kind of greenhouse, it looks hot, plants and flowers are growing in abundance yet there is a woman sat in the middle of frame, in the pile of flowers. I keep looking at this and wonder, was she just gardening and has stopped in mid-thought!? Is she angry and has been beating it out of the flowers? Why the heck are there a load of flowers in the kitchen/dining room?? What is the metaphorical meaning if any?
Plate 19 though is my favourite from the whole series. This is also used as the cover for the book and with good reason. A woman lies face up on a floor, of what seems to be water, in the living room. She is motionless, yet, I find something quite alive about her. The image is quite haunting, as with all the photographs here, and quite disturbing too. But, for me, the beauty and depth shines through. The reflections are wonderful and, once again, the lighting is just so perfect.
That's what I love about this photography, the ability to make me look at it for ages and contemplate what has happened? What is happening? and what is about to happen? A small part of me, maybe the working class, northern 'neigh lass what d'yer want to look at stuff like that fer' wants to fight against it and questions whether it is a little pretentious, but that is a very small, minuscule part of me and one which, for many years in the quest of my creativity, I have had to strongly fight against.
A great set of photographs presented beautifully in this book.
on 7 November 2012
A great book , but not for everyone . Gregory Crewdson takes his photography in a whole new direction. The photographs are staged much like a film set , yet this is not a negative but just unique . The colourful and very graphic images have the abilty to stir emotions . There is however a need to be a aware that not the images will be for everyone as they have a dark and adult element to them. That said , if you love photography in all its shape and form and love to ponder on the not so obvious subtext of emotive imagery then this book is for you. I love it , and hopefully so will you.