November 27, 2006

Crewdson's Fireflies

The pictures that have made Gregory Crewdson famous, his large scale tableaus, don't do much for me. I admire their artistry and recognize why they have created such a stir in the art world, but having worked on movie sets, they look familiar, and I always wonder, why not just make a movie?. Add star models and that feeling/question is heightened. For me the big cinematic images lack the kind of emotion and truth I look for in photography...

...but the mark of a great artist is someone who is willing to take risks and exhibit work not normally associated with his signature style and Crewdson has done this in a small and lovely show titled simply Fireflies now showing uptown at Skarstedt Fine Art. According to the show notes the pictures were taken over two months of nights outside a cabin in Becket, Massachusetts in 1996.

Crewdson writes about the night of the show opening in this article.

Because these images are so subtle and dark seeing them on web doesn't don't do them justice. If you aren't near NY, you might be able to find a copy of the current issue of Blind Spot magazine which features work from the show on the cover and has semi-decent reproductions. A book with all 62 images is also forthcoming.

I don't know why these images took 10 years to come out, but I'm glad they did. Each is like a small poem infused with sweet smell of summer evening. Seeing them on the wall is something special.

related: nice review in the Village Voice

posted at 12:20 AM by raul

Filed under: photographers

TAGS: crewdson (1) fireflies (5) night (20) skarstedt (1) visual poetry (2)


11/27/06 12:15 PM

I haven't seen the show but it does look wonderful. I also want to say he has done something really difficult. I've tried for years to get good firefly pictures. It's easier with digital, but to do it on film is as much of a technical achievement as it is an artistic one.

Weird that you don't like the Crewdson's more famous work. Just because it's posed doesn't lessen it's emotional impact for me. For me it's like the entire movie is contained in that one moment.

11/28/06 10:54 AM

these are just magic. thank you for pointing them out!

11/30/06 09:20 PM

It is a great issue. I was excited to see his photos.

12/03/07 10:49 AM

This is very cool! That is a great concept and the execution is fantastic. On a much lower level, I think this would be a great project for me and my 10yr old son to do some weekend.

We have messed around with light painting but never just spots of light. He will have a blast with that! Thank you for publishing this!

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