Nowadays, photography is mostly associated with the idea of documenting reality in one form or another. Gregory Crewdson is at the opposite pole, his work is all about staging and it’s hard to put in a box, because there is no box to fit them. They are photos reminding of film, painting and digital art, and they are so fascinatingly surreal.
Nothing in these pictures is random. Crewdson does not find poetry in reality but rather invents reality. The images are not reconstructions of existing movie scenes but they are truly cinematic and as Crewdson mentioned, his inspiration comes from movies like Blue Velvet and Vertigo. Every detail has been carefully considered. Many of the photos remind of Edward Hopper’s paintings. Most of them are surreal projections of the American small town life. And essentially, they are all different and yet they have the same ‘heart’.
The making requires full sets and a lot of resources. I recently discovered Brief Encounters, a documentary (2012, directed by Ben Shapiro) about the complicated work of making these pictures and the man behind them. You can read my review and see the trailer of the documentary here.