gregory crewdson: brief encounters


I discovered Gregory Crewdson by accident. I was wandering the aisles of the Strand bookstore with twenty bucks to spend, and I picked Twilight off the shelf because Rick Moody (a favorite of mine) wrote the introduction. I lost hours looking through those photographs. Mostly shot on location in Pittsfield, MA, his photos portray seemingly ordinary people and places. But there’s always something something slightly disordinary, too. Open car doors, light shining from the basement, wandering wildlife– Crewdson locates and foregrounds the beauty and curiosities of suburban landscapes, and the effect is simultaneously calming and chilling.

I am fascinated by narratives of family and home, and particularly stories of domestic disturbance. Where are those moments of intrusion in our lives? What happens when there is a violation of a seemingly safe space? Crewdson photos offers some possibilities, but like most of the good stuff, his work poses more questions than it answers.

Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters is a documentary chronicling the ten years it took to complete “Beneath the Roses.” If the film comes to your city, do check it out! I was able to catch it during a week-long run in Los Angeles, and I can’t recommend it enough.

As a side note, I love everything about this picture. But the woman is definitely my favorite part. Her face, her hands, and the way the dirt brushes against her cellulite make it possible for me to look at this photo for hours.