It is not often that one has the opportunity to see the process of an artist's practice. A new documentary that was just released on Gregory Crewdson offers the viewer insight into what drives Crewdson to construct elaborate sets for the one moment of narrative. It is a stunning documentary and not be be missed.
I love the fact that the film follows Crewdson over several years and shows the influences on his art from his childhood into the present day. His father took him to a Diane Arbus show in NYC when he was 10 years old. Exhibitions in NYC of Cindy Sherman and Barbara Kruger were important in forming his work while he attended graduate school at Yale. His father was a psychoanalyst and had an office in the basement of their home. Crewdson grew up knowing there were "secrets" contained in the office, not unlike the "secrets" contained in the orchestrated images he constructs.
Beneath the Roses, a stunning body of work, taking 8 years to complete. I think he may have started it after a divorce (they did not go into this much in the documentary). I can't help but wonder
how much of the longing and sense of disconnect that permeates his images over those 8 years was an outgrowth of his own pain...
The film is playing at the Gene Siskel Center in Chicago this weekend. If you don't live in the city, look for it playing near you.