Photographs by Gregory Crewdson. Edited by Stephan Berg. Essays by Martin Hentschel, Martin Hochleitner, Urs Stahel and Stephan Berg.
Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern, 2005. 200 pp., 80 color and 100 b&w illustrations, 11¾x10".
In his own words, Gregory Crewdson says, “I am drawn to
photography by some irrational need to create an image
of a perfect world. I strive to create that perfection
through obsessive detailing, through a weird kind of realist
vision. When the mystery of the photography
emerges, my irrational need to create a perfect world
meets up with some kind of failure to do so. This collision
between failure and compulsion to make something
perfect creates an anxiety that interests me.” Crewdson
creates a world of perpetual loneliness, of lucid dreams
based in reality but not real. The subjects seem
detached, alone, isolated. The title of Stephan Berg’ s
essay, “The Dark Side of the American Dream,” encapsulates
This wonderfully produced
book is published
in conjunction with the
first European retrospective
of Crewdson’s work.
It showcases twenty
years of images, ranging
from his days as a graduate
student to the present. (Samplings of Crewdson’s
early work can be seen in his MFA portfolio housed at
Yale University’s Arts of the Book collection.) Gregory
Crewdson 1985-2005 ,features selections from his six major bodies
of work: “Early Work,” “Natural Wonder,” Hover”
“Twilight,” “Dream House,” and “Beneath the Roses,” as
well as behind the scenes production stills. Regarding
Crewdson’s latest series, ‘Beneath the Roses,’ Katy
Siegel says, "[F]or the first time he expands his vision
from the individual, private home to the public, shared
spaces of commerce and sociality. In his effort to realize
a subjective vision, Crewdson, amazingly, has grasped a
social reality, just as the Hollywood films he has taken as
his model embody enough reality to speak meaningfully
to their audiences.” If you were to own any book by
Crewdson, whether a longtime admirer or new to his
work, this would be the one. - LARISSA LECLAIR
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