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Author Topic: Gregory Crewdson’s New Surreal Photographs  (Read 7550 times)

GrahamBy

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Re: Gregory Crewdson’s New Surreal Photographs
« Reply #20 on: January 29, 2016, 09:39:24 AM »

Full Definition of surreal
1:  marked by the intense irrational reality of a dream; also :  unbelievable, fantastic <surreal sums of money>
2:  surrealistic


-Merriam-Webster
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Mark Lindquist

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Re: Gregory Crewdson’s New Surreal Photographs
« Reply #21 on: March 11, 2016, 06:56:29 AM »

What has Crewdson done that Edward Hopper didn't do first?

(In this series, Cathedral of the Pines), it seems to me his works are an homage to Hopper, at least within the contextuality of pastiche.

At the very least, the works are informed by Hopper's oeuvre.

GrahamBy

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Re: Gregory Crewdson’s New Surreal Photographs
« Reply #22 on: March 11, 2016, 08:29:26 AM »

Everything has been done before. Much more explicit hommages to Hopper have been done, so it comes down to asking whether it's hommage, pastiche or just inspiration

http://culturainquieta.com/es/foto/item/3974-hopper-meditations.html
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Mark Lindquist

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Re: Gregory Crewdson’s New Surreal Photographs
« Reply #23 on: March 11, 2016, 11:17:07 AM »

Everything has been done before. Much more explicit hommages to Hopper have been done, so it comes down to asking whether it's hommage, pastiche or just inspiration

http://culturainquieta.com/es/foto/item/3974-hopper-meditations.html

Given he is professor of Photography at Yale, I'd say he is fully informed in all aspects of historicity, photographically speaking in a Post Modern context (as well as a complete epistemology of film and photography overall).  One of the most basic tenants of Post-Modernism is quotation and parody.  He uses Hopper as just one element in his Palette.  There's a lot going on there.  From Wyeth (as was mentioned earlier in the thread) to Hopper and all inclusive in-between, these are interesting in the sense that they are "Hollywood-ized" in a country context (meaning staged, etc.)

Surprisingly, if you go to the film production called "Justified", you can stop the video at many places and find similar imagery and quality of light, staging and post-processing.  I think Crewdson's images have to work hard, however, in that they have to portray and deliver in "one take".

I also found it interesting that he discussed not having any answers, but rather posing questions....

I looked at your link about Hopper, although I couldn't read the material, I found the images to be overdone compared to the subtlety of Crewdson.  Interesting link, however.

-Mark

GrahamBy

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Re: Gregory Crewdson’s New Surreal Photographs
« Reply #24 on: March 11, 2016, 02:50:15 PM »

Yes, it would be reasonable to say they were over-done : looks like a lot of pushing local contrast to make it look like painting. Plus many of them were re-stagings of specific images, whereas for me Crewdson was much more subtle in capturing the mood, or even re-constructing the idea, while not aping oil painting or the precise scenes.
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Mark Lindquist

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Re: Gregory Crewdson’s New Surreal Photographs
« Reply #25 on: March 11, 2016, 04:13:43 PM »

Agreed.  There is something very odd about the images though, that they somehow capture what those who live in the North in the winter time call "cabin fever".  The subjects (or participant-actors) have mostly blank stares and are leaning toward depressiveness rather than neutral.  There's a kind of resignation to them.  I really don't think surreal or surrealism has much of anything to do with the images, actually, as much as catatonic does.  The message to me is almost as though the actors in the images in large part are saying:

"OK, we're stuck here for the duration.  Don't like it, yet must put up with it.  Can't even make the best of it, just stuck, having no where to go or anything else to do."

If I didn't know better, it would be as though the participants/actors were directed to be "epileptic", staring blankly as though in a trance.

Yet there is definitely a kind of magic about the images on many levels, probably in particular the prices.........

GrahamBy

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Re: Gregory Crewdson’s New Surreal Photographs
« Reply #26 on: March 12, 2016, 06:04:54 AM »

If I didn't know better, it would be as though the participants/actors were directed to be "epileptic", staring blankly as though in a trance.

Do you really know they weren't? Although it's not what the word "epileptic" conjures for me (certainly not grand mal), do you mean catatonic ?
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Mark Lindquist

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Re: Gregory Crewdson’s New Surreal Photographs
« Reply #27 on: March 12, 2016, 10:55:51 AM »

Do you really know they weren't? Although it's not what the word "epileptic" conjures for me (certainly not grand mal), do you mean catatonic ?

I am afraid I was treading on thin ice when I used the word epileptic.  I meant it in the sense that many who are afflicted often have blank stares prior to a seizure.  I really shouldn't have used that word in this context just from the standpoint of the seriousness of that condition.

I do mean catatonic, as previously stated, although no single word adequately describes the stance of the actors. 

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