Gregory Crewdson: Artist Portrait

Gregory Crewdson

Born 1962.
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Gregory Crewdson Biography

American photographer Gregory Crewdson presents tableaux of American suburban domestic interiors and neighborhoods. He meticulously prepares his sets using dramatic, cinematic lighting to produce surreal and ambiguously threatening imagery. The mundane qualities of his scenes and subjects contribute to the eeriness of his photographs, and question the nature of reality and artifice.

Born in Brooklyn in 1962, Crewdson attended the State University of New York, Purchase College, where he began experimenting with photography as a creative outlet and hobby. He began to consider artistic production as a serious profession, took courses with Jan Groover and Laurie Simmons, and eventually completed a Master of Fine Arts at Yale. For his thesis project, he photographed portraits of residents of Lee, Massachusetts, a location to which he later returned for his Natural Wonder series, which was shown at the Museum of Modern Art in 1991; the project presented benign domestic scenes with decaying animal corpses or crawling insects. He gradually expanded his scale and color palette, producing increasingly surreal works of intricate, complex scenes that seem to come out of Hollywood epic films. He was the subject of Ben Shapiro’s 2012 documentary, Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters, which premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival.

Crewdson received the Aaron Siskind Foundation Fellowship in 19991, and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts the following year; in 2004, he was awarded the Skowhegan Medal for Photography. In addition to teaching at Sarah Lawrence College, Purchase College, Cooper Union, Yale, and Vassar College, Crewdson has enjoyed solo exhibitions at major institutions since the early 1990s, including at the Houston Center for Photography in 1992, the Reina Solfiá in 1998, the Kunstverein, Hannover, among others. Crewdson’s works have sold for impressive prices; Untitled (Beer Dreams) sold for $42,000 in 2002, while Untitled (Winter) sold for $103,000 in 2007. He has plans to eventually direct feature length films.

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Artist Image: 2008 Nick Harvey
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